• Froome and Thomas in Team INEOS Tour de France selection shock (Getty)Source: Getty
INEOS have chosen strength over sentiment for the Tour de France leaving four-time champion Chris Froome and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas off the team.
By
SBS Cycling Central

19 Aug 2020 - 6:06 PM 

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The decision comes after the pair clearly struggled with poor form at last week's Criterium du Dauphine where INEOS uncharacteristically failed to place any rider in the top 10 once Egan Bernal abandoned the race with a back injury.

Thomas, 34 and Froome, 35 will instead target the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana respectively, INEOS outlined in a press statement this evening (AEST), and reigning Giro champion Richard Carapaz will switch to the Tour squad.

This now leaves the INEOS veterans with around two months to find some kind of form as Froome also looks to exit the team for Israel Start-Up nation at the end of the year.  

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“Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical," INEOS general manager Sir Dave Brailsford said in the statement.

"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."

“Egan (Bernal) 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.

“We have been analysing closely how we can win the Tour de France this year and we have a passionate team united by a common purpose, ready to get the job done.”

"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.

“In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta. 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.”

At last week's Critérium du Dauphiné, INEOS director Gabriel Rasch didn't hide his disappointment with Thomas and Froome. 

“I think definitely (Froome) needs to step up. The same with G, he also needs to step up. They have not been good enough here."

The INEOS team for the 2020 Tour de France: Andrey Amador, Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe, Pavel Sivakov, Dylan van Baarle.