Sky sports director Servais Knaven says Geraint Thomas must change his schedule if he is to perform well at the Tour de France

Geraint Thomas must push for the Tour de France after a successful 2015 and sacrifice the Classics, says Team Sky’s Servais Knaven.

Thomas won E3 Harelbeke and placed third in Ghent-Wevelgem this spring. At the Tour, he sat fourth overall, battled for the podium and helped Chris Froome win the overall. Only in the last two mountain days, after a crash, did he slip to 15th overall.

Sky will focus his energies in 2016 on stage races and preparing for the Tour de France. Knaven, winner of the 2001 Paris-Roubaix and sports director for Sky’s Classics team, explained that it is the right move given the 29-year-old Welshman’s progression.

“These days, it’s so much focused on the Grand Tours. If you want to win the Tour, you can’t spread yourself thin over the Classics. It’s harder and harder to do so with it becoming so specialised,” Knaven told Cycling Weekly.

“In a few years, it’d be even harder for him. He has to change his focus to stage races, ride more in the mountains if he wants to do it. This is the last step that he needs, it’s more than normal that he can go for it.”

Cycling Weekly spoke to Geraint Thomas in early 2015