Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas cannot wait for a special Welsh welcome when he and four-time winner Chris Froome lead Team Sky at the Tour of Britain next month.
Two-time Olympic gold medallist Thomas is a regular at the Tour of Britain, having ridden it eight times since his debut in 2005, while Froome will make his first appearance in the race since 2009.
“As soon as I’d finished the Tour, I knew I wanted to ride the Tour of Britain and race on home roads,” said Thomas who won Team Pursuit gold on the track at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
“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.”
Froome may not have won the Tour de France for a fourth time in a row this year but 2018 has been far from unsuccessful with the two-time Olympic medallist adding the Giro d’Italia to his collection.
The six-time Grand Tour winner has focused on Vuelta a Espana instead of the Tour of Britain in the past four seasons, winning the race for the first-time last year.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve raced the Tour of Britain,” said the two-time Olympic bronze medallist in the road time trial.
“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.
“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.”
Thomas and Froome will be joined by Dutchman Wout Poels, a three-time stage winner in the race though the rest of the Team Sky line-up is yet to be confirmed.
"I want to go to the race in the shape to compete and enjoy it," Thomas added. "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.”