Geraint Thomas is hoping to help the team continue its recent momentum as he returns to racing at the Tour de l'Ain.
With his last race days coming in February at the Volta ao Algarve, the Welshman is relishing the chance to test his race sharpness, before heading to the Criterium du Dauphine and ultimately the Tour.
He told TeamINEOS.com: "I'm just looking forward to racing again. Obviously it's been a really weird season. I started in the Algarve and was targeting Tirreno. I was feeling like I was starting to go really well and then it all shut down. Since then it's just been a long period of training. I feel like I managed to do a decent amount of work. I'm feeling alright and I think these next two races will be good to bring me on that bit more. Then we just rest up, head to the Tour and do what we can do.
"It will be nice just getting that number on your back and racing again. That's what we do it for."
It will be nice just getting that number on your back and racing again. That's what we do it for.
"I'm pretty chilled about it really. Obviously I'd love to win, but at the same time it's not make or break. We'll just see how it goes, see how the legs are and obviously speak to Egan (Bernal) as well. He's already got a win, and I think the team are moving really well. We'll just take each day as it comes really.
"We've got a really strong team here, and with Jumbo-(Visma) and a few other teams being so strong – and because there's such limited races now – it's worked out really well for the race. To have a lot of strong Tour contenders here is exciting and with our team you can't ask for more really."
Thomas, who opted to take a few extra days rest before joining the team out in France, admitted he was pleased with the work he and the team were able to do in Tenerife in July.
He added: "We had a really good training camp in Tenerife. The roads were quiet and the team did a great job to get us out there to be consistent with what we're used to. The block was a similar time out from the Tour to what we've done previously. I really enjoy it out there and it works really well. It's hard work. The process is hard but the outcome is worth it."