Ex-champions Froome, Thomas left out of Tour de France team

 Britain's Chris Froome of Team Ineos looks on after competing in the 3rd stage of the La Route d'Occitanie cycling race between Saint-Gaudens and Col de Beyrede, on August 3, 2020.

Photo credit: Guillaume Horcajuelo | AFP

What you need to know:

  • Froome will have to wait another year and see if he can equal the record of five Tour wins jointly-held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.
  • Brailsford said he and the coaching staff had reached their conclusions after a painstaking process.

London

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 which runs from October 20 to November 8.

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.

In this file photo taken on July 29, 2018, Tour de France 2018 winner Great Britain's Geraint Thomas (left), wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, shakes hands with third-placed Great Britain's Christopher Froome on the podium after the 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Houilles and Paris Champs-Elysees. 

Photo credit: Jeff Pachoud | AFP

However, Froome, who broke his neck, femur, elbow, hip and ribs in the crash, conceded he is not in the shape required for the gruelling race which gets underway in Nice on August 29.

"I've had an incredible recovery from the big crash I had last year and I'm in a very fortunate position to be back racing now already," said Froome, who will be bidding to add a third Vuelta to his laurels having won in 2011 and 2017.

"But I'm not confident that I can really fulfil the necessary job that would be needed from me at this year's Tour de France.

"I think it's a lot more realistic targeting the Vuelta a Espana.

"It gives me a chance to really get stuck into something that's deliverable."

In this file photograph taken on July 29, 2018, Tour de France winner Great Britain's Geraint Thomas (left) wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey and classification third-placed Great Britain's Christopher Froome (centre) react as they cross the finish line of 21st and last stage of the 105th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Houilles and Paris Champs-Elysees.

Photo credit: Philippe Lopez | AFP

Brailsford had been fulsome in his praise of Froome when announcing the line-up even though relations are said to have been strained when the team decided not to renew his contract earlier this year.

Froome -- who had been with the team since it came into being in 2010 -- will ride for Israel Start Up Nation next season.

"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 (October 3-25), 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.

Britain's Chris Froome (right) and general manager Dave Brailsford (left) of Team Ineos speak together at the end of the 3rd stage of the La Route d'Occitanie cycling race between Saint-Gaudens and Col de Beyrede, on August 3, 2020.

Photo credit: Guillaume Horcajuelo | AFP

"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."

Thomas looked on the bright side of the new challenge that lay ahead for him.

"It's nice to finally just have a firm plan in place and know exactly what I'm doing, and try to get some sort of positive out of this year," said the 34-year-old Welshman.

"In 2017, I was in great shape, in similar form to what I was in '18 when I won the Tour.

"The Giro ended badly that year with a crash and it's something I've always wanted to go back to."

Froome will have to wait another year and see if he can equal the record of five Tour wins jointly-held by Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain.

British four-time winner Chris Froome arrives on stage during the official presentation of the next Tour de France 2020 cycling race on October 15, 2019 in Paris. 

Photo credit: Alain Jocard | AFP

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)

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