This year’s Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas, will ride the Tour of Britain alongside last year’s Tour de France winner, Chris Froome. Thomas finished seventh in the Tour of Britain last year, in what was his first appearance since 2011, but Froome hasn’t appeared in the race since 2009.
Thomas said: "As soon as I'd finished the Tour I knew I wanted to ride the Tour of Britain and race on home roads. It starts in Wales which will be special, and then I get to go and race across the whole of the UK. I can't wait.
"I want to go to the race in the shape to compete and enjoy it. We'll have to see how the next few weeks go but I'm looking forward to it and I know we will have a strong team there."
Thomas renounced his normal strict diet while celebrating his Tour de France win, but speaking in Cardiff last week, he said he was keen to maintain decent fitness for the World Championships in September.
"I'd still quite like to try and have some sort of form by the end of the year but I don't know about winning them.
"I think I'd have to be sort of Tour de France weight and form. I think it's easier to get the form. The weight now, it's a bit of a write-off to be honest after the last 10 days. It takes a lot of hard work, that's the hardest part for me.”
Having already won the Giro d’Italia and finished third in the Tour de France, Froome will understandably skip the third Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana, which he won last year.
He said: “It’s been a long time since I’ve raced the Tour of Britain. The Vuelta a Espana has always been such a big goal and sadly coincided with the Tour of Britain, but not doing La Vuelta this year gives me the chance to come back to the UK and race on what looks like a great parcours.
“I’m really looking forward to riding. I always remember there being a great atmosphere at the Tour of Britain and the race has only got bigger over the years. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”
The race begins at Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire, on Sunday September 2.