Bernal confirms Tour defense, will bypass Giro

The 2019 Tour winner vows to race the Italian grand tour some day, but it won't be in 2020 as the Tour and the Olympics will be at the center of his calendar.

All the talk of Egan Bernal racing the Giro d’Italia was just that — talk.

The Colombian star confirmed Friday he will focus on the Tour de France in 2020, and the Italian grand tour will not feature in his plans, at least not next year.

According to Colombian media, Bernal confirmed he will race to defend his Tour title in July. The Giro will not feature in Bernal’s plans revealed for the first half of the 2020 season.

The 2019 Tour champion also confirmed he will start his season at the Tour of Colombia (February 11-16) as well as defend his title at Paris-Nice in March. Bernal also said he hopes to be selected to Colombia’s Olympic team with a road race course that is well-suited for the sleek Colombians.

A question mark remains if he will race to defend his title at the Tour de Suisse or the Critérium du Dauphiné in June.

Though Team Ineos has yet to officially map out the 2020 season for all of its stars, it looks likely the British outfit will bring its three former winners to the Tour. Four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, still recovering from a career-threatening crash in June, as well as 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, are also expected to race the Tour.

There is some talk of Thomas racing the Giro, but it’s more likely Team Ineos will send newcomer Richard Carapaz, the 2019 winner, to the Giro, along with the likes of Pavel Sivakov and Tao Geoghegan Hart.