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Tour de France champions Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have been left off the Ineos Grenadiers squad for the upcoming 2020 Tour.
In a press release sent out Wednesday morning European time, Ineos announced that defending champion Egan Bernal will lead Ineos in the Tour’s 107th edition while Froome and Thomas will set their sights on the Vuelta a España and Giro d’Italia respectively.
“Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical and has meant we have had to analyse all the latest information to make sure we are in the best position possible to optimise our performances in the coming months,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.
“Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France and we are very excited to give last year’s Giro winner, Richard Carapaz, his debut in this year’s Tour also. Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win with another Grand Tour title, with the aim of being the first Welshman to win it.
“In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta.”
Ineos’ team for the upcoming Tour de France will feature Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz, Pavel Sivakov, Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle.
With three past Tour de France winners on the squad — Bernal, Thomas and Froome — plus Giro winner Carapaz, the question of Ineos’ leadership for the Tour has been the subject of much discussion in recent months. At the recent Criterium du Dauphine — the Tour’s most important warm-up race — Bernal rode as the Ineos leader, but abandoned the race due to back pain. Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion, wasn’t at his best during the five-stage race, finishing in 37th place, nearly 54 minutes in arrears. Froome was further back in 71st place — 1 hour 26 minutes behind overall winner Daniel Martinez — as he continues his return from a serious injury sustained during last year’s Dauphine.
“Chris is a legend of our sport, a true champion who has demonstrated incredible grit and determination to come back from his crash last year,” Brailsford said. “We want to support him to compete for another Grand Tour title and the Vuelta gives him that little bit more time to continue his progress to the top level.”
In July Israel Start-Up Nation revealed that Froome would ride for the squad from 2021 onwards, as part of a “long-term contract”. There he will seek to win a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title.
The 2020 Tour de France, rescheduled from its traditional July timeslot due to coronavirus, is set to run from August 29 to September 20.