Ineos outlines Grand Tour leadership plans, including a Bernal tilt at the Giro
Ineos Grenadiers team principal Dave Brailsford mapped out the team’s plans for this year’s Grand Tours on Wednesday, revealing that the squad intends to back Egan Bernal as team leader at the Giro d’Italia, with Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Richard Carapaz to race the Tour de France.
New arrival Adam Yates is set to target the Vuelta a España, where he could be joined by other big names depending on how the season progresses.
Bernal, who won the Tour in 2019, abandoned last year’s race due to back problems and is still working his way into form. The 24-year-old Colombian has spoken about his interest in racing the Giro before. Brailsford confirmed that he is set to lead the team there this year, noting that “it’s very important that he finds that joy of racing again.”
Ineos plans to send Geraint Thomas, Richard Carapaz, and Tao Geoghegan Hart to the Tour de France. Thomas won the race in 2018, while Carapaz won the Giro in 2019 and Geoghegan won the race Giro 2020. Brailsford pointed to the time trials on the Tour route as favorable to Thomas’s skill set, while noting that Carapaz could take a more aggressive tack. As for Geoghegan Hart, the team felt that he was ready to take the “next step” and make his Tour debut.
Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis were named as potential Tour starters as well, and Bernal may also return to the race following his Giro campaign.
Alternatively, Bernal may start the Vuelta, where Yates is already slated to make the start. Carapaz, who rode to second behind Primoz Roglic at last year’s Vuelta, was also mentioned as a potential starter for this year’s race following his Tour de France start.