Geraint Thomas to lead Team Sky at Eneco Tour

The Welshman will lead at the Benelux stage race having returned from racing in the Canadian WorldTour races

Geraint Thomas in the 2016 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Watson)

Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky at the 2016 season's next WorldTour race, the Eneco Tour, while fellow Brits Luke Rowe and Andy Fenn will also appear.

Thomas made a return to racing after the Olympic Games at last week's GP de Québec and Montréal, and will now head into the WorldTour's final stage race as team leader.

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The seven day race, which has been shifted from its usual August slot to a September schedule because of the Olympic Games, is proving a perfect training ground for those heading to the World Championships in Qatar on October 9-16.

Sky bring sprinter Elia Viviani, who will likely led the Italian team in the road race in Doha, but also strong classics riders like Danny Van Poppel and Michal Kwiatkowski, as well as Fenn and Rowe.

With two time trials featured this year, world time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka will have his last outings in the rainbow bands before the world championships on stages two and five. Former Tour de Yorkshire winner Lars Petter Nordhaug completes the eight-man team.

Any hopes of overall glory for Geraint Thomas are likely to rest on the crucial final stage, where the peloton will ride three times up the classic Tour of Flanders climb, the Muur van Geraardsbergen.

A victory here for the Welshman would add a second WorldTour stage race win to his palmarés this season, having taken a sensational victory in Paris-Nice back in March.

Full line-up: Geraint Thomas, Andy Fenn, Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Luke Rowe, Danny Van Poppel, Elia Viviani.

Eneco Tour 2016 stages

Stage one, Mon Sept 19, Bolsward (Ned) to Bolsward (Ned), 184km

Stage two, Tue Sept 20, Breda (Ned) to Breda (Ned), 9.6km ITT

Stage three, Wed Sept 21, Blankenberge (Bel) to Ardooie (Bel), 182.3km

Stage four, Thu Sept 22, Aalter (Bel) to St-Pieters-Leeuw (Bel), 201.4km

Stage five, Fri Sept 23, Sittard-Geleen (Ned) to Sittard-Geleen (Ned), 20.9km TTT

Stage six, Sat Sept 24, Riemst (Bel) to Lanaken (Bel), 185.2km

Stage seven, Sun Sept 25, Bornem (Bel) to Geraardsbergen (Bel), 197.8km

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).