Geraint Thomas says 2019 may be the “wrong time” to return to the Giro d’Italia as he considers a Tour de France defence.
The 2018 Tour winner is looking ahead to the coming season and has previously mentioned his “unfinished business” with the Italian Grand Tour.
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But the Welshman has hinted that he may defend his yellow jersey next year, riding alongside team-mate and four-time Tour winner Chris Froome.
“Being there [at the Tour] with number one on my back, it would be a shame to know I wouldn’t be at my best, so I’m definitely leaning more towards that.”
Thomas added that both he and Froome can finish well at the Tour if they ride as they did this year.
The Cardiff-born pro rode the Giro in 2017, but was forced to abandon on stage 13 due to injuries sustained in a crash earlier in the week.
He added: “As long as we don’t race against each other, we both have our ambitions and that works well in training because we both push each other.”
Thomas, 32, has had the season of his life, winning both the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France.
He picked up two stage wins back-to-back at the 2018 Tour, also becoming the only Brit to ever win atop the legendary Alpe d’Huez.
Fame has followed, with Thomas recently appearing on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show alongside Nicole Kidman.
But it was not plain sailing to the Tour win, as Thomas earlier this year revealed the tension with Team Sky bosses over who should be the protected rider late in the race.
Next season poses an intriguing question for Sky – do they back Froome to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France, or work towards a second consecutive win for Thomas?