Geraint Thomas has confirmed his schedule as he returns to racing next month.
The Welshman has just five race days in his legs this year before the coronavirus lockdown hit, but he still has his sights set on the Tour de France.
Thomas, who spent around three months in his native Cardiff during the lockdown, has also shared his experiences of life during coronavirus.
The 34-year-old said he will start his season at a three-day stage race in France [most likely La Route d’Occitanie from August 1, alongside Egan Bernal] before heading to the shortened five-stage Critérium du Dauphiné from August 12.
Thomas will then recce stages of the Tour de France, before the main event leaves from Nice on August 29, with Thomas looking for a second yellow jersey.
In an interview with S4C, Thomas said: “Missing the racing part was disappointing but there was a lot bigger things going on, so you can understand why.
“Everyone’s way of life’s drastically changed, but luckily for us, I went back to Cardiff for 50-odd days in the end, and I was still able to go out on the road and train, and spend a bit of time with the family, which I never normally would. And especially having a young boy at home, Macsen, that was a nice positive from it.”
He added: “I’m getting on a bit now, I’ve got maybe three, four, five years left so I just want to make the most of those years and race my bike and enjoy it. It was tough going but there’s a lot of people who are in worse off positions than us.”
Thomas and Team Ineos will once again be taking to the virtual roads of Zwift for online races, with S4C broadcasting the events on Friday, July 17 at 9pm and on Friday, July 24 at the same time, with English subtitles available.
On virtual racing, Thomas said:”It’s not the real thing, but it is very realistic. The Zwift races has definitely helped me get more out of myself, because you’re racing against your team mates online. Even if you’re not that up for it to start with, as soon as you get going, that competitiveness comes out anyway and you all end up racing hard, so they’re definitely a good workout.”