Ineos Grenadiers not reshuffling grand tour deck in aftermath of Egan Bernal horror crash
Sport director Matteo Tosatto says Richard Carapaz remains focused on Giro d'Italia rather than switching attention to Tour de France.
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Ineos Grenadiers isn’t reshuffling its grand tour deck just yet.
Ineos Grenadiers sport director Matteo Tosatto told Bici this weekend that race rosters for the 2022 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France are currently unchanged in the aftermath of Egan Bernal’s horror crash.
“We still have to have a meeting about race programs,” Tosatto told Bici. “For now, the incident is still too fresh to address that issue.”
For now, Ineos Grenadiers is working to “Plan A.”
Richard Carapaz will lead the supersquad in a push at the Giro d’Italia alongside Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart. What happens six weeks later at the Tour de France – where Bernal was initially slated for captaincy – remains undiscussed as Ineos Grenadiers comes to terms with the Colombian’s devastating accident late last month.
“How the situation changes … It changes in that we do our best to gather around Egan and give him all the necessary support so that he can get back to his best and recover quickly,” Tosatto said.
Bernal was released from ICU this weekend, 12 days after the high-speed collision that left him with a long list of fractures, injuries and abrasions.
Recent medical updates state Bernal is making a rapid recovery from a recent salvo of surgeries, but the prospect of a return to racing is still far from the radar as concern focuses on the 25-year-old’s wellbeing.
Tosatto said that although Paris-Nice and the rest of Bernal’s early season schedule has been scrapped, the French summer is still up for discussion – and that Carapaz will keep aiming at his bid for a second pink jersey in Italy.
“We haven’t talked to Carapaz yet. For now, Richard remains focused on his first part of the season and his racing schedule that we had established,” Tosatto said.
A shortage of TT kilometers at the Giro and the absence of Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič from the startsheet gives Carapaz his best chance yet at scoring a grand tour victory for Ineos Grenadiers. The Ecuadorian won the Giro in his final season with Movistar and has brought his Brit crew two grand tour podiums since.
Meanwhile, 2018 Tour champ Geraint Thomas gives Ineos Grenadiers an option for France.
Also read: Porte tips Thomas for top result at Tour
”Carapaz knows well and he already said at the beginning of the season that the Giro would be his goal, and he is focused on that,” Tosatto said. “To say now that we remove him from the Giro to put him on the Tour seems useless and premature. It is certainly a good Giro for him and for the moment everything remains confirmed.”
For the moment, “Plan A” remains the plan.