Geraint Thomas has been stepping up the work on his time trial bike as he turns his attention to the Yorkshire World Championships.
The TT is Thomas’s last big goal of the 2019 season as the Welshman hopes to buck the trend and be strong in the last week of September.
Thomas returns to racing with his Team Ineos squad at the Deutschland Tour this week, having last raced at the Tour de France where he finished second overall behind Egan Bernal.
The 2018 Tour winner said: “The TT is the big goal for me, I’ll be doing all I can to get in the best shape there. Hopefully I’m good enough to represent the country well and be right up there.
“I’m enjoying having a goal at the end of the year. I’ve only finished the Worlds once, back in 2011 when [Mark] Cavendish won, and after that for one reason or another, I’ve never gone well at the end of September. Hopefully this will be the first time I do that.”
Thomas said he has been out on the TT bike in preparation for the Yorkshire Worlds, doing lower intensity work and building up to threshold sessions ahead of the event late next month.
The 33-year-old starts the Deutschland Tour on Thursday (August 29) alongside a stacked field, including Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).
It will be Thomas’s first race since a successful Tour de France that saw Ineos claim the top two podium places.
Thomas added: “I had 11 days off the bike after the Tour, went away with my wife Sa for a few days and it was really nice to just switch off, although coming back was pretty hard after that.
“After finishing a Grand Tour, if you don’t ride it out of your legs, you can feel pretty poor for a while, but I’m feeling a lot better now, after two weeks of training.”
He added: “I’m looking forward to racing again, back with the boys.
“It’s always easier to push yourself in racing rather than training as well, particularly at this time of the year. Four hard days of racing will do me the world of good after the training I’ve done up to now. I like racing in Germany. It’s a good race, it’s not super hard, the stages build up in intensity. The days are straightforward and then the finals are hard. It’s just what I need.”
Thomas said he also hopes to be in form to ride the Yorkshire Worlds road race, where he says team-mate and British champion Ben Swift is likely to be team leader.