Sky's Geraint Thomas is ready for the Tour Down Under start tomorrow, though it may not show. The Welshman is as white as his British Champion's jersey despite the Adelaide sun.
"I have been whacking on the sun cream," said Thomas. "I don't think I've seen the sun since September."
Thomas paused to get a tub of sun cream and began applying more. He has been doing so for a week, since he arrived last Sunday.
"I have been on the internet, going to watch cricket, training...," Thomas continued. "It is a good race to be a part of, first ProTour [WorldTour - ed.] race of the year, a sprinters' races, we can get some good practice in. Also, with the track in mind it is good training for that."
He will face the first day of the Tour Down Under tomorrow in the pre-race criterium. The race proper starts on Tuesday with a 138-kilometre road stage to Angaston, northeast of Adelaide.
Thomas said that he will be man number five in the train to bring Sky its first win of the season. The team will support New Zealand's Greg Henderson for the sprint. Australian Chris Sutton will be the final lead out man, after Brit Ben Swift, Australian Matt Hayman and Thomas.
Henderson won the criterium last year ahead of Sutton.
"'Hendi' is our man at the minute, but he and CJ [Sutton] will talk on the road to see how they feel. Those guys have been racing a lot of criteriums, but it is my first proper blow out for while."
Thomas welcomes the speed work as he heads back to England next Tuesday to prepare for team pursuit at the Manchester World Cup. Next year, he plans to represent Great Britain at the London Olympics and win another gold medal to add to his one in the team pursuit in 2004.
Geraint Thomas (left) snaps a photo of British Sky team-mate Ben Swift
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Tour Down Under 2011: Start list
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Cavendish to start 2011 Tour Down Under
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