The Welshman said he hopes to be ‘in the best shape possible’ for the Tour

Geraint Thomas will miss the 2019 Giro d’Italia to focus on his Tour de France defence.

There has been speculation around the Welshman’s Grand Tour ambitions for the new season, with some reports suggesting he might return to Italy.

But the 2018 Tour winner has confirmed he will focus his efforts on a yellow jersey defence, as he hopes to be “in the best shape possible” in July.

The 32-year-old Team Sky pro told the BBC: “The Giro feels like unfinished business and I wanted to think about that.

“Maybe I’ll race it next year, but this year has always been about the Tour.”

>>> Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana start list: Geraint Thomas and Alejandro Valverde amongst strong roster

Thomas opened his 2019 season at the Volta a Valenciana on Wednesday (February 6), where he finished just outside the top ten in the stage one time trial.

He is expected to ride the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Tour of the Basque Country and the Tour de Suisse.



Thomas also plans to ride the Ardennes Classics Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallone and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Recent reports also suggested he may make his debut appearance at Strade Bianche.

Team Sky leader Chris Froome recently said he thought the 2019 Giro route perfectly suited Thomas’ talents.

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

Thomas hopes to target the World Championship time trial in Yorkshire later this year and is looking ahead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Young Colombian star Egan Bernal is set to lead the team at the Giro, in only his second year riding at WorldTour level.

In an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera, Froome said he believes the 22-year-old can win the Italian Grand Tour on his first attempt.

Froome said: “When you talk to Egan you struggle to believe he is so young. He has a maturity and an incredible ability to read the race.

“For me, he can win it at the first attempt.”