Geraint Thomas could make Strade Bianche debut in 2019

Reports also suggest the Welshman may not be heading to the Giro d’Italia

Geraint Thomas could target Strade Bianche for the first time this year (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Geraint Thomas could make his debut at Strade Bianche this season, as speculation about his Grand Tour calendar continues.

Thomas has never ridden the Italian one-day race but could turn his attention to the white roads in 2019 before taking on Tirreno-Adriatico four days later.

Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Welshman may not ride the Giro d’Italia, despite previous speculation that he may return to the Italian Grand Tour.

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There is a lot of attention around the Team Sky rider’s plans for the new season after his unexpected Tour de France victory last year.

Long-standing Sky leader Chris Froome was the protected rider for the Tour, but after a monumental Giro d’Italia win just weeks before, Froome’s legs weren’t able to carry him to a fifth yellow jersey.

Last month, Team Sky announced that both Froome and Thomas would ride the Tour de France while young Colombian star Egan Bernal would lead the squad at the Giro d’Italia.

Thomas said at the time: “The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can.

“Maybe if I hadn’t won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100 per cent as well.”

>>> Chris Froome joined by young Colombian fan on training ride

But it has since been suggested that Thomas may also ride the Giro, with team boss Sir Dave Brailsford saying the decision had not yet been finalised.

Thomas would also be a strong contender at Strade Bianche, an Italian one-day race named after the unpaved roads that define the course.

The 33-year-old has been a genuine Classics contender in previous years, finishing eighth in the Tour of Flanders and seventh in Paris-Roubaix a week later in 2014. He won E3 Harelbeke the following year.

His 2019 campaign currently includes Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Team Sky also have previous strong form at Strade Bianche, with Michał Kwiatkowski winning for the team in 2017 – his second victory in the unique race.

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