Thomas likes the look of 2019 Tour route

Geraint Thomas after the Tour de France

Five mountain finishes await the Tour de France peloton next year and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas is ready for the challenge.

Reigning champion Geraint Thomas believes the 2019 Tour de France route will offer an all-rounder like himself the chance to don the yellow jersey in Paris next July.

Details of next year’s route were announced in the French capital on Thursday, with 30 categorised climbs and five summit finishes awaiting the peloton.

Three of those five will take riders over 2000 metres, something Chris Froome believes will set the 2019 edition apart from many of its predecessors.

Thomas – who won by one minute and 51 seconds this year – is not daunted by the high challenges and thinks it could work in his favour.

Speaking to the Team Sky website, Thomas said: “It’s always hard – it’s the Tour de France!

“There’s a lot of climbs over 2,000 metres of altitude and I seem to perform well at that height, so I like it.

“It will suit the usual Tour rider – a well-rounded rider with a balanced team.

“You’ve got to be able to climb, you need a strong team around you – there’s a lot of medium mountain stages – and then there’s the time trial in Pau, which will be crucial.”

For time-trial specialist Tom Dumoulin – who finished second behind Thomas in 2018 – the route only having 54 kilometres against the clock was a disappointment.

“It’s a very tough route,” he said after the presentation in Paris. “Of course, more individual time trial kilometres would have been better, so it’s not an ideal course for me, but that was also the case this year.

“There’s a lot of high climbing and an emphasis on the second half of the Tour, with the Pyrenees and the Alps to be decisive.”

 

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