Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome said he "could have played a role" for Ineos Grenadiers at this year's Tour.
SBS Cycling Central

14 Sep 2020 - 2:27 PM 

Froome and fellow Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas were sensationally left out of the Ineos Grenadiers team by general manager Dave Brailsford, who has since come under fire from Sir Bradley Wiggins for the move.

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With Egan Bernal's title defence and Ineos' GC contention hopes in tatters, Froome spoke to Eurosport and insisted it was a team decision to leave the star duo out of the Tour.

"Yes, definitely (it was a team decision)," Froome told Eurosport.

"I think I could have played a role but the team decided that was not going to be the best thing for them and for myself personally.

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“I can only speak for myself but I mean I would have been more than happy to have gone to the Tour and helped as much as I could.

"It's really difficult to tell from the outside. Between myself and (Geraint), we have a lot of experience - we've been racing the Tour for years now, we've won it five times between the two of us.

"So I would have liked to think we could have contributed in that sense of terms of helping the team.

Froome's Ineos teammate Bernal's title defence disintegrated 13 kilometres from the summit of the Grand Colombier on Monday morning (AEST) with Jumbo-Visma's dominance just too much, despite the presence of his own team mates, Michal Kwiatkowski and Jonathan Castroviejo. 

The defending champion finished seven minutes and 20 seconds behind stage winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and the yellow jersey who finished second, continuing the Slovenians' dominance on this year's Tour. 

Bernal skidded right down the general classification to 13th at eight minutes and 25 seconds. 

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"It was not going well from the first climb to be honest," Bernal said, after Stage 15.

"I was almost dropped there. I was suffering full gas from the first climb. 

"Then I was trying to to fight until the final. Even if I started the last climb with them I knew already I would be dropped. 

"But I wanted to give my best not just for me but for the team and for the respect I have for the race, I'm the number 1. But there are riders far stronger than me. 

"The feeling was that I was empty. I had no power.