Geraint Thomas will have plenty of support from his Team Sky colleagues when he defends his British road race champion’s title in Northumberland on June 26.
Thomas will be one of nine Sky riders competing in Stamfordham, Newcastle upon Tyne in just under three weeks’ time as they look to repeat the podium lock-out from twelve months ago.
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The Welshman edged out Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard in the road race, and Bradley Wiggins’ time trial success two month’s later ensured they cleaned-up at their first nationals.
By sending all-but Steve Cummings from their British contingent of riders, Team Sky’s ambitions for the race are rather evident.
Cummings’ non-participiation is hardly surprising; was was struck down with pneumonia in April, and hasn’t raced since the Ardennes Classics.
Geraint looks ahead
Thomas said: “It’s always a bit different at the nationals – it obviously means a lot to so many people and everyone wants to win it.
“We’ll just take it as it comes and see what happens but it should be a great day again.
“I’m obviously going to try my best to win it again but it’s going to be hard as it looks a bit of an easier course than last year so a lot more guys can race it.”
Thomas during the Ronde van Vlaanderen
Thomas’ year as British champion has seen him complete the Tour de France, finish tenth in the Tour of Flanders and take his first professional victory in the recent Bayern Rundfahrt.
“It has been great being the national champion over the last 12 months – it’s like representing Great Britain in every race you are in,” he said.
”You obviously stand out a bit more and it’s similar to wearing the leader’s jersey in a stage race, you just get that lift every day you’ve got it on.”
Thomas added: “It’s definitely been a pretty memorable 12 months and wearing the national champion’s jersey as well has made it even more special.”
Team Sky line-up for British National Championships Road Race