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December 28, 2019
Egan Bernal has his sights set on a title defense at next year’s Tour de France, telling media in Colombia that he will not ride the 2020 Giro d’Italia as he prepares for a fully-focused run at the Tour.
Despite his status as the reigning Tour de France champion, Bernal’s objectives for next season had been up in the air prior to Friday, with Ineos not yet laying out the plans for how it will approach the three-week races with its trio of Tour winners: Bernal, Chris Froome, and Geraint Thomas.
Last month, Bernal said that he had interest in riding the Giro d’Italia in what would have been his debut in the Italian Grand Tour, telling AS that doing the Giro-Tour double would be “very complicated but if we make the decision we could do it.”
Egan Bernal in post-Tour criterium mode in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Gregory van Gansen/PN/Cor Vos © 2019
Bernal had planned to lead Ineos at the 2019 Giro before he was sidelined by an injury. The 22-year-old Colombian returned in time to race the Tour de Suisse, which he won, and to make his second career Tour de France start, where Ineos was without Froome following the Briton’s June crash. Bernal and Thomas claimed the top two steps on the final podium in Paris.
Now, Bernal has confirmed that he will not race the Giro as he pours his full focus into defending his Tour crown next summer.
Froome, who is not expected to be fully recovered in time for the 2020 Giro, is planning to contend for the Tour as well. The Briton is seeking his fifth career win in the race. Thomas’s schedule remains a question mark.
As he looks to build toward a Tour defense, Bernal will reportedly start his 2020 campaign at the Tour Colombia, followed by Paris-Nice, the Volta a Catalunya, and the Vuelta al País Vasco.