Tour de France: Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates, Tom Pidcock feature for Ineos Grenadiers
'In Adam, Dani and Geraint we have three fantastic GC heavyweights who can mount a real challenge' says Rod Ellingworth.
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Ineos Grenadiers announced a stellar squad for the Tour de France as the team looks to compete on a number of fronts throughout July.
Former winner Geraint Thomas, Adam Yates and Dani Martínez will spearhead the challenge for another yellow jersey, while Tom Pidcock and Filippo Ganna will make their race debuts.
Ganna is a firm favorite for the opening time trial in Copenhagen on July 1 and is in line to pull on the first yellow jersey of the 2022 race. Pidcock and Ganna will then be contenders for the cobbles on stage 5 before the likes of Thomas, Martínez and Yates swing into action on the first summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles at the end of the first week.
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The rest of the eight-rider team is made up of experienced domestiques with Luke Rowe, Dylan van Baarle and Jonathan Castroviejo making the cut.
There are no spots for Ethan Hayter, who showed tremendous form in the opening half of the year, or Michal Kwiatkowski after the former world champion abandoned the Criterium du Dauphiné through injury.
“The competition this year is tougher than ever and that’s a great thing for the sport, the Tour and the fans. But we all know that anything can happen in cycling, especially over three weeks of hard racing across different terrains and weather conditions. This group of Grenadiers is the epitome of all that Ineos stands for. They have the grit, rigor and humor that we know is critical to success at the Tour and we can’t wait to get racing,” said team principal Dave Brailsford.
🇫🇷💛 Vive Le Tour! 💛🇫🇷
Meet your 8⃣ Grenadiers: ready to go all in at #TDF2022 pic.twitter.com/70f4i3HgWV
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) June 28, 2022
Thomas arguably heads into the race with the strongest case for GC leadership after his overall win in the Tour de Suisse this month.
The Welshman endured a slow build up to the season following surgery and a bout of COVID-19 over the winter. However his pedigree of first in 2018 and second in 2019 makes him an obvious candidate for the GC if he can pull through the first week without any issues.
Back in May the team were set to back Dani Martínez and Adam Yates for the overall but neither rider has shown the best form in recent months. Martinez ended up working for Thomas in Switzerland and finished eighth overall, while Yates was forced out of the race after testing positive for COVID-19.
While the trio of GC candidates will ultimately “let the road decide” who is the strongest among them, the core of the team is unquestionably resolute. Rowe, van Baarle and Castroviejo form an incredible engine room that blends strength and experience.
The trio will be vital, both during the opening week when cross-winds and crashes are set to be major themes, and when the race eventually dips into the mountains.
“We’ve got a really dynamic and versatile group of riders that are ready to go full gas and really take this race on,” said Rod Ellingworth.
“In Adam, Dani and Geraint we have three fantastic GC heavyweights who can mount a real challenge. They have proved their form across the season and are lining up in Copenhagen in great shape.
“It’s also a proud moment for the team to see Filippo and Tom make their Tour de France debuts. They’re phenomenal riders who have big careers ahead of them and both are ready to leave their mark on the Tour. And no team could ask for three better super domestiques than Dylan, Jonathan and Luke. Collectively they have racing instincts and experience that are second to none.”