Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas skip Giro d'Italia to focus on Tour de France
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 01/01/19 5:49pm
Team Sky have confirmed Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will miss the Giro d'Italia in order to focus on the Tour de France.
Froome will not defend his title in Italy, with 21-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal set to lead Team Sky instead.
Thomas will also miss the race in order to focus on defending his Tour de France title.
Froome is aiming to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France, but says it was a "difficult decision" to miss the Giro d'Italia.
He said: "It's been a hard decision to figure out exactly what to do in 2019 and figure out which Grand Tours to focus on, especially having won the Giro last year and having had such an amazing time out there with the team - but for 2019, my number one objective is going to be the Tour de France.
"It was definitely a difficult decision not to go back to the Giro d'Italia and defend the maglia rosa. I've got some amazing memories from last year, but I think, with the Tour de France as my main objective, it's probably better that I skip the Giro d'Italia in 2019.
"I'm getting to the point in my career now where I'm starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders - only four other people have ever done that - it would just be incredible."
Thomas confirmed he will also miss the Vuelta a Espana in order to focus on the Tour de France, but says he will compete in the time trial World Championships in September.
He said: "The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can.
"Maybe if I hadn't have won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I'll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back and not to go back at 100 per cent as well.
"The year will be geared around that, but I'm also looking forward to a slightly different programme as well, and obviously after the Tour, the Worlds in Yorkshire will be massive.
"I think the time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it. It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment.
"They're going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that."