In a major coup for organisers, six-times Grand Tour winner Froome will ride his first Tour of Britain since 2009. Thomas was once a regular in the week-long race, but his appearance last year, when he finished seventh overall, was his first since 2011.
The Welshman was drawn to last year’s Tour of Britain by its finish in his native Cardiff and he will again be on home soil when this year’s event begins in Carmarthenshire on September 2.
Thomas said: “As soon as I’d finished the Tour [de France], 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.”
Froome’s only previous participations in the race came in 2007 and 2009 and his appearance in the RideLondon Classic in 2016 was his only race to date in the UK since the London Olympics.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve raced the Tour of Britain,” said Froome, who has focused instead on the Vuelta a Espana in the past four seasons, winning it for the first time last year.
“Not doing La Vuelta this year gives me the chance to come back to the UK. I’m really looking forward to it. I always remember there being a great atmosphere and the race has only got bigger over the years.”
Following the start in Wales, this year’s Tour will take riders into the West Country and up to Cumbria before finishing in central London on September 9.