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6 Sep 2007

However, the Welshman’s GB loyalties will be set aside when he takes up the Tour of Britain challenge this weekend. As lead out man for his Barloworld team, Thomas’ role will be to get his South African team-mate Robbie Hunter into the right position for the final rush at the line.

Hunter may well be Mark Cavendish’s biggest rival on the Tour with the former’s stellar performance at this year’s Tour de France a clear indication of how he can sprint with the best.

Having spent most of his year at his road racing team’s base in Italy, Thomas is looking forward to taking to the British roads once again.

"I can’t wait for the Tour of Britain," he told the British Cycling website. "I will definitely have my own opportunities during the race– I just need to make sure I grab them when they come. But if it comes to a bunch kick, it’s all for Rob (Robbie Hunter). Apart from that, I think it’s right in saying I’ll be a dual leader with him."

For further information please contact Lynette Evans at the Sports Council for Wales on / NOTES TO EDITORS

· Prologue – Crystal Palace, London

· Stage 1 – Reading to Southampton

· Stage 2 – Yeovilton to Taunton

· Stage 3 – Worcester to Wolverhampton

· Stage 4 – Rotherham to Bradford

· Stage 5 – Liverpool to Kendal

· Stage 6 – Dumfries to Glasgow


EVENT: Team Pursuit / Points Race
D.O.B: 25/03/1986
FROM: Cardiff
TEAM: Barloworld

A freak training accident in Sydney in early 2005 scuppered Thomas’ plans to make an impact on the senior stage for the first time when he needed surgery to remove his spleen after a metal bar struck his team-mate’s bike, causing Thomas to crash into his handlebars.

He has since gone on to win a bronze for his home nation in the men's 40km Points Race at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games as well as the World Team Pursuit silver medal secured at last year’s World Championships in Bordeaux. Add to that a silver in the Men’s Madison alongside Rob Hayles at the World Cup event in Manchester earlier this year, a team pursuit gold in the Moscow World Track Cup and World Track Cycling Championships in Palma, Majorca – and it appears as though Thomas barely has time to digest his own success.

He is also a winner of the junior Paris-Roubaix title – the grinding annual road and cobblestone classic in northern France and Belgium – and he finished third in the mountains competition in the junior Giro, the Tour of Italy.