Star cyclists Christopher Froome and Geraint Thomas have not been selected by their team to participate in the 2020 edition of Grande Boucle, the Ineos team announced on Wednesday. The two previous winners were sidelined due to “disappointing performances”.
They collect five Tour de France victories between them, but they will not be on the starting line for the 2020 edition. In a press release published 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 for his, Chris (Froome) will focus on the Vuelta, “the British team explained in a statement, a few days after the duo performed far from the Ineos standards during the Critérium du Dauphiné, the last major pre-tour preparatory competition.
A little more than a year after his serious fall on Dauphiné 2019 that had left him hugged with fractures (cervix, femur, hip, elbow, ribs …), the British Froomewho left next season for the Israel Start-Up Nation team, failed to convince his boss Dave Brailsford that he was returning to his best level.
Although he entered the service of the Colombian Bernal on the Tour de l’Ain, the last Dauphiné, “Froomey” showed boundaries that he did not know as soon as the road climbed.
Hans 71e Sunday, almost an hour and a half behind the winner of the event, Colombian Daniel Martinez, forced the decision.
More unexpectedly, Thomas’ sideline also responds to a disappointment. Welshman, co-leader of Ineos on the Tour 2019, which he finished in 2e place, could not write better than 37e place on Dauphiné, where he also gave up a significant time, almost an hour, on Martinez.
“I would have preferred to be a little better, but my tasks are good. I just have to lose another kilo and I will be perfect,” he assured while acknowledging a rather difficult start at Dauphiné.
It is ultimately the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, winner of the Giro 2018 and originally planned to compete in the Giro d’Italia, who will play the role of Team Ineo’s second ace on the Grande Boucle together with Egan Bernal.
Doubts about the condition of the title holder, whose team had used back pain as an excuse to explain his abandonment of Dauphiné, are raised.
“Egan will aim for the yellow jersey again in France,” planted ex-team Sky boss Dave Brailsford, who chose climbers Jonathan Castroviejo, Andrey Amador and Pavel Sivakov to follow them.
Former Polish world champion Michal Kwiatkowski, Dutch cyclist Dylan Baarle and regular bodyguard Luke Rowe complete the group.