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Bernal, Thomas to co-lead for Ineos at Tour

Bernal, Thomas to co-lead for Ineos at Tour
By Eurosport

16/01/2020 at 22:18Updated 17/01/2020 at 09:19

Defending champion Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas will lead Team Ineos at the 2020 Tour de France team boss Dave Brailsford confirmed on Thursday, adding that Chris Froome was "craving" a fifth Tour title.

Froome, 34, missed the 2019 Tour after he suffered fractures to his femur, hip, elbow and sternum following a crash during a reconnaissance ride for the Criterium de Dauphine back in June.

In Froome’s absence, Colombian Bernal, then 22, became the youngest winner in more than 100 years, with Welshman Thomas, the 2018 champion, in second place, and in a social media post on Thursday Brailsford confirmed that the pair would co-lead at the 2020 Tour, with Richard Carapaz set to defend his Giro d'Italia title.

"You pencil in your plans at this time of year, but you always know that things can change in the sport," Brailsford said.

" As it stands at this moment in time, what we are looking at Richard (Carapaz) going to race the Giro and try and retain his title there, and then for Geraint and Egan to take on the challenge of, and focus on, the Tour."

Seven-time Grand Tour winner Froome is back in training and, according to Brailsford, still has ambitions of claiming another Tour win that would move him alongside Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain on five.

Video - Froome: I am not ready to race yet

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"And of course, Chris (Froome) coming back, he's still really craving that big fifth win and he's working very, very hard at the minute to get back to the level required to be competitive," Brailsford said.

"That's what we are working on and that's where we are at now. It's a great position to be in."

Rohan Dennis, who signed with the team in December, will ride at the Giro alongside Carapaz, added Brailsford, before turning his attentions to the Olympics in Tokyo.

"And we have other riders like Rohan Dennis who joined the team, who will also ride the Giro this year, but he has goals for the Olympics as well and that fits in nicely," Brailsford said.

"Then we have some of the younger riders who are developing, so we are going to try to merge some of them into the Tour team and then some of the others into the Giro team to get some experience.

" And I think as the season develops it will be full of opportunities and excitement. There is a real energy and they are ready - they want to get at it."

With additional reporting from Reuters