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Team Ineos confirmed Wednesday in a stunning announcement that both four-time Tour winner Froome and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas will not be racing the 2020 Tour, set to start August 29.
In a clear sign that Team Ineos is looking to its future, and a reflection that numbers don’t lie, Team principal Dave Brailsford is putting the full weight of the team behind 2019 winner Egan Bernal.
“Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France,” said team manager David Brailsford in a video statement released Wednesday. “Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win with another grand tour title. In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta.”
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Just days after taking a beating at the Critérium du Dauphiné at the hands of arch-rival Jumbo-Visma, Brailsford and the team’s staff moved to reshuffle the Ineos deck to provide stronger support for Bernal.
Leaving at home both Froome and Thomas, who rode to second in 2019, revealed there is no room for sentimentality inside the Team Ineos bus. Both riders were founding members of the franchise in 2010, but Brailsford insisted on bringing the best riders he believes can support Bernal.
Riding in support will be defending Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz, Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michał Kwiatkowski, Pavel Sivakov, Luke Rowe, and Dylan van Baarle.
Rumors that have been heating up about the inclusion of Froome in the Tour squad only grew more intense after the Critérium du Dauphiné, where the multiple grand-tour winner was dropped daily in the steep mountains. While Thomas faired somewhat better, he was clearly not in top Tour shape either.
Carapaz had been slated to defend his Giro title this October, however, with Froome and Thomas clearly short of their best, the Ecuadorian received a late call-up for what will be his Tour debut.
Froome, who transfers to Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021, will be denied the opportunity to fulfill his ambition of taking a record-equaling fifth yellow jersey, at least in Ineos colors.
“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.”
Team Ineos — set to be known as Team Ineos Grenadiers for the Tour — has won seven of the last eight editions of the Tour, with Bradley Wiggins, Froome, Thomas, and Bernal. However, the team was clearly outpaced and overwhelmed by Jumbo-Visma squad at last week’s Critérium du Dauphiné.
Carapaz, the first Ecuadorian to win the Giro, will bring fresh legs to the team, while 23-year-old Russian standout Sivakov also gets a chance to test his Tour potential. The remainder of the riders are experienced grand-tour support riders who will rally around Bernal as the Colombian aims to maintain the team’s Tour dominance.
Team Ineos for 2020 Tour de France
Egan Bernal (Col)
Andrey Amador (CR)
Richard Carapaz (Ecu)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa)
Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol)
Pavel Sivakov (Rus)
Luke Rowe (GB)
Dylan van Baarle (Ned)