Road

Froome on Tour leadership: ‘We have to work together to win with the team’

Froome suggests he will be riding Tour de France with Team Ineos; travel concerns eased for Bernal and other Colombians.

Who will lead Team Ineos at the Tour de France this summer? Not even Chris Froome knows right now.

“Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, and I will be there, but I don’t know how we will split it,” Froome told Sky Sports on Thursday.

With three Tour champions on its roster, Team Ineos has a lot of cooks in the kitchen. Tensions between the leadership trio of Froome, Bernal, and Thomas have been simmering in recent months after Bernal stated that he would not be prepared to sacrifice his own chances at Tour success to support others. Weeks later, reports emerged that Froome may be looking to move teams, possibly in advance of this year’s Tour.

Froome’s words to Sky Sports suggest that any move away from Team Ineos this season might not be in the cards, and towed the team’s party line of unity and an “all-for-one” approach to Tour success.

“We are all professionals and above all friends,” Froome said. “We know that we have to work together and that we must respect the goal: to win the team with the team. We all want to win, that is clear. Most importantly, the team wins.”

The good news for Team Ineos – and perhaps bad news for Froome – is that the question mark over Bernal’s ability to start the Tour has been erased. Colombian officials confirmed last week that there would be a stop on all flights leaving the country through August 31 in a bid to quell the coronavirus crisis, posing a threat to Bernal and dozens of other Colombians’ ability to travel to the Grand Départ on August 29.

However, after Colombian pros were given special exemption to train outside in advance of the country’s lifting of its coronavirus lockdown, it appears similar leeway will be afforded to the nation’s cycling stars regarding travel.

“Yesterday I received a pleasant call from the president of the Colombian Cycling Federation,” José Julián Velásquez, director of Colombian continental squad Team Medellín, said Wednesday. “He is applying for special permits with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the Ministry of Sport to seek the possibility of a charter flight for all cyclists who have to travel to Europe in July.”