Geraint Thomas on his way to Le Tour victory, but will his defence be hampered this year? Pic: Getty Images.

Geraint Ready To Shed The Pounds In Search Of More Tour De France Glory

Geraint Thomas admits he is a bit heavier and wife, Sara, is getting fed-up of him being around as he savoured his Tour de France victory that confirmed his place in Welsh sporting history.

Now he is relishing getting back on his bike in anger and beginning the long training rides as he prepares to defend the Yellow Jersey next July.

First there is a book tour back in Britain and a final exhibition criterium in Shanghai, before the dieting and training camps begin in earnest.

“I’ve enjoyed it all but now I just want to get training again,” said Thomas, speaking at the Saitama Criterium in Japan last weekend where he finished second to world road race champion Alejandro Valverde.

Thomas has not trained seriously but was second to Alejandro Valverde in Japana last Sunday.

“Even my wife Sara has said: ‘I’m looking forward to when you’re back on your bike and in a routine.’ I’m craving that now.

“It’s still a bit of a whirlwind, really. I haven’t really stopped. I’ve not been anywhere for more than four or five days. It’s been good but hectic.”

“Next week I’m in Britain to promote my new book, and then I’m back to Shanghai for the other Tour de France criterium.

“But after that it’s back to Monaco and back to being a bike rider again. I’m really looking forward to it, too. I’ve had enough of everything else.”

Thomas has not done any serious training since competing at the Tour of Britain last September having enjoyed the post Tour de France celebrations after becoming the first Welshman to win the event.

“For sure, it’s the most time I’ve had off the bike, so I won’t start next year with all guns blazing,” admitted Cardiff-born Thomas, 32.

“I just wanted to enjoy it because it doesn’t happen every day. I’ve certainly enjoyed it.

”Dave Brailsford has been on to me, saying: ‘Don’t get too big, try to keep ticking over.’

Geraint Thomas celebrated Tour de France win with Cardiff homecoming last summer. Pic: Team Sky

“I can feel myself growing – sideways. Just maintaining any fitness is certainly the hardest thing but once you get back into it, I’m sure it will come back.”

Thomas admits he still feels strange looking back at the heady days of last July when he rode his way into the record books.

“I still feel the same person,” said Wales’ double Olympic track champion.

“That’s why it still seems funny when I think: ‘I’ve won the Tour!’

“You dream of winning the Tour de France but you never really think it will happen. It seems out of reach.

“But as the years go by and you improve in the Classics and stage races, it becomes more achievable. Since 2016, it’s been one of my goals.

“Of course, you can believe in it and have confidence that you can do it, but to actually do it is amazing.”

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