Thomas excited for Paris-Nice test

08 March 2014 / 13:08

Geraint Thomas insists he is looking forward to being taken out of his comfort zone after an injury to reigning Tour de France champion Chris Froome forced Team Sky to reshuffle their back.

Froome had been expected to compete in the week-long Tirreno-Adriatico stage race but had to withdraw with a back injury.

That has meant that Richie Porte comes into the contest, which starts on March 12, having originally been entered for the Paris-Nice.

Thomas now leads Team Sky in the week-long Paris-Nice stage race, which starts on Sunday March 9, and the Welshman can’t wait to get going.

"It's a massive honour to lead Sky in such a big stage race which the team has won in each of the last two years,” he said.

"Stage racing isn't something I've targeted before so it's new territory for me, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and getting stuck into the race."

Sir Bradley Wiggins won the Paris-Nice race in 2012 before going on to win the Tour de France.

Porte, who won last year's Paris-Nice, went on to play a pivotal role in helping Froome win the 100th staging of cycling's most prestigious three-week race round France.

Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth said: "This is just a minor setback for Chris and we hope he will get back to full training within a week.

"He's obviously disappointed to miss Tirreno-Adriatico but we shouldn't take any chances at this stage of the season."

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