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Star cyclists Christopher Froome and Geraint Thomas have not been selected by their teams to participate in the 2020 edition of the Grande Boucle, the Ineos squad announced on Wednesday. The two former winners were sidelined due to “disappointing performances”.
They accumulate five victories of the Tour de France between them, but they will not be on the starting line of the 2020 edition. In a statement released on Wednesday August 19, the Ineos team announced that neither the four-time winner of the Tour de France Christopher Froome, nor the winner of the 2018 edition Geraint Thomas, will not participate in the Grande Boucle ((August 29 – September 20) this year.
“Geraint (Thomas) will aim for the Giro (…). As far as he’s concerned, Chris (Froome) will target the Vuelta, “the British team said in a statement, days after the duo performed far from Ineos standards in the Critérium du Dauphiné, the last big preparation race before the Tour.
A little over a year after his serious fall on the Dauphiné 2019 which left him crippled with fractures (cervical vertebra, femur, hip, elbow, ribs …), the Briton Froome, departing next season for the Israel Start-Up Nation team, failed to convince boss Dave Brailsford to return to his top level.
Even though he put himself at the service of the Colombian Bernal on the Tour de l’Ain and then the last Dauphiné, “Froomey” showed limits that were unknown to him as soon as the road climbed.
His 71e Sunday, almost an hour and a half behind the event’s winner, Colombian Daniel Martinez, forced the decision.
More unexpectedly, Thomas’s sidelining also responds to disappointing performance. The Welshman, co-leader of Ineos on the 2019 Tour, which he completed in the 2e up, could not sign better than a 37e place on the Dauphiné, where he also gave up a considerable time, almost an hour, on Martinez.
“I would have preferred to be a little better, but my data is good. I just have to lose another kilo and I will be perfect,” he assured, while acknowledging a rather difficult start to the Dauphiné.
It is ultimately Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, winner of the 2018 Giro and initially scheduled to compete in the Tour of Italy, who will take on the role of Team Ineos’ second ace on the Grande Boucle alongside Egan Bernal.
Doubts about the condition of the defending champion, whose team claimed back pain to explain his retirement from the Dauphiné, have been lifted.
“Egan will be aiming for the yellow jersey again in France,” said ex-Sky boss Dave Brailsford, who has selected climbers Jonathan Castroviejo, Andrey Amador and Pavel Sivakov to accompany them.
Former Polish world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, Dutch wheeler Dylan Baarle and usual bodyguard Luke Rowe complete the squad.