Bernal and Brailsford react to Tour route

15 Oct 2019

Bernal and Brailsford react to Tour route

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Egan Bernal is ready for a hard but exciting edition of the Tour de France as the route for the 2020 edition was unveiled.

2019 winner Bernal and Team INEOS Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford both expressed their excitement at a mountainous route, with the action set to begin on June 27 in Nice.
 
For Bernal the presentation marked a return to the French capital for the first time since clinching the yellow jersey on stage 21 of the 2019 race. 
 
“It’s special to be here again in Paris. I think it will always be special for me,” he said.
 
“It will be a really hard Tour de France. It will be different without a team time trial and just one time trial, with an uphill finish. I think it will be a different Tour, one that people will really like, as I think there will be a lot of attacks in the final climbs.”
Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal

I think it will be a different Tour, one that people will really like, as I think there will be a lot of attacks in the final climbs.
Bernal admits that the race’s lone time trial, with a summit finish on La Planche des Belles Filles, is an advantage to him versus flatter courses of recent years.
 
He added: “For me it’s a little bit better this time trial than if it was a flat one. I think specialists will also be good in this time trail – they know how to do a good time trial even if it is uphill. It’s still a time trial, but for me it’s better like this.”
Bernal will line up with the number 1 on his back in 2020 (photo: A.S.O.)

Bernal will line up with the number 1 on his back in 2020 (photo: A.S.O.)

Having run the rule over the route, Brailsford is excited at the prospect of a tough climbing challenge – one which he believes will favour the riders of Team INEOS.
 
He explained: “It’s a constant challenge all the way through. The climbing is more spread out than usual and they haven’t got the classic set-piece stages in the Alps or the Pyrenees. It will be strong teams, strong riders and strong racing. I’m really looking forward to it, I think it’s fantastic.
 
“I think it will definitely suit our team. Particularly in the back-up team, you’re going to have to have really strong all-round riders – guys who can climb and ride on the front. That’s one of the elements of our team that we’re really good at. Of course with the guys we’ve got who can lead the team, we’ve got different riders who can do really well in this race.”
 
With the Tour stages confirmed, Brailsford and the team will now wait for the routes of the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana before drawing up a plan over the winner.
 
On the next steps, he added: “Now we’ll take it away as always, look at the Giro course, look at Vuelta as well. We’ll look at all of it and do a big analysis. We’ll look at our tactics, plans and who is going to do what throughout the season. It’s an enjoyable part of the job – it’s like a puzzle. By the middle to the end of November we’ll have our plan.”

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