Cycling

Thomas ready for Tour of Britain challenge

Geraint Thomas (AP)
Geraint Thomas (AP)

London - Team Sky's Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas launches his Tour of Britain campaign on Sunday after finally coming back down to earth following the wild celebrations of his triumph in July.

Thomas is the first Welshman to win the Tour de France and he was welcomed back to Cardiff by more than 8 000 jubilant fans in July.

The 32-year-old will be cheered on once more by local supporters when the Tour of Britain's first of eight stages begins in Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire this weekend.

"After the support I had, it'll be nice to race on home roads. The homecoming was insane, I didn't know what to expect, I was fearing it just being my wife and the dog," Thomas told the BBC.

"But it was just phenomenal - if the support at the Tour of Britain is anything like that, it's going to be a pretty special eight days of racing."

Thomas expects to spend much of his time on the road in a support role following a hectic August.

"There has been a lot of travelling and a few nights out as well so my form is certainly not what it was in France but I still should have decent enough legs to be in the race and hopefully at the front doing something," he said.

Beyond Thomas, Team Sky's line-up includes six-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome, Ian Stannard, Dutchman Wout Poels, Lukasz Wisniowski of Poland and Belarusian rider Vasil Kiryienka.

The tour ends in Newport, the site of Wales' National Velodrome, which is set to be renamed in Thomas' honour.

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