Chris Froome (yellow jersey) and Geraint Thomas, then of Team Sky, at the 2015 Tour de France. PA

Former champions Froome and Thomas left out of Team Ineos Tour de France team

Froome is a four-time champion, while Thomas won in 2018.

FOUR-TIME TOUR DE France champion Chris Froome and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas are glaring omissions from the formidable Team Ineos Grenadier line-up for this year’s race.

Froome will not get the chance to bring down the curtain on his hugely-successful spell with Ineos (formerly Team Sky) with a tilt for a fifth Tour yellow jersey as he “needs more time”, according to team principal Dave Brailsford.

The 35-year-old Kenyan-born British rider will instead aim for the Vuelta a Espana.

Froome has been trying to get back to peak condition after he was involved in a high-speed crash at last year’s Criterium du Dauphine which came close to ending his career.

“Chris Froome will target the Vuelta,” said Brailsford in a team statement.

Chris is a legend of our sport, a true champion who has demonstrated incredible grit and determination to come back from his crash last year.

“We want to support him to compete for another Grand Tour title and the Vuelta gives him that little bit more time to continue his progress to the top level.” 

Thomas will target the Giro d’Italia, leaving defending Tour de France champion Egan Bernal as Ineos team leader.

“Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France and we are very excited to give last year’s Giro winner, Richard Carapaz, his debut in this year’s Tour also,” said Brailsford.

“Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win with another Grand Tour title, with the aim of being the first Welshman to win it.”

Froome had tried to prove he was ready for the Tour, which gets under way in Nice on 29 August having been postponed from its original date due to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Criterium.

Froome, who is joining new team Israel Start-Up Nation at the end of the season, had said he felt he was getting there.

However, Brailsford said he and the coaching staff had reached their conclusions after a painstaking process.

“Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical,” he said.

“And has meant we have had to analyse all the latest information to make sure we are in the best position possible to optimise our performances in the coming months.”

Ineos team for Tour de France

Andrey Amador (CRC), Egan Bernal (COL), Richard Carapaz (ECU), Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP), Michal Kwiatkowski (POL), Luke Rowe (GBR), Pavel Sivakov (RUS), Dylan van Baarle (NED).

© – AFP 2020  

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