Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal will be joint leaders of Team INEOS in the 2019 Tour de France, in what will be the Team’s first race at Le Tour under new ownership.
We believe it makes sense to go into the race with joint leaders as it gives us more options. Egan and I will work hard for each other and the Team over the three weeks of the race."
"It’s no secret my build-up has been affected by the crash at Tour de Suisse, but I’ve had a good block of training since and I feel ready. Discussing with the Team, we believe it makes sense to go into the race with joint leaders as it gives us more options. Egan and I will work hard for each other and the Team over the three weeks of the race.
Sir Dave Brailsford
"They trust each other and we believe that this approach will best suit us as a Team by giving us the greatest flexibility on the road and the best possible chance of success."
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “There is always a strong sense of anticipation before any Tour, but this one is that bit more special for us as it’s our first racing as Team INEOS. And whilst our preparation hasn’t been straightforward following Chris Froome’s recent crash, we will be at the start line with a really strong team that is hungry to win again.
“After the success of last year, we have decided to come into the race with joint leaders. Geraint and Egan are both in great form. They trust each other and we believe that this approach will best suit us as a Team by giving us the greatest flexibility on the road and the best possible chance of success.
One of the brightest young talents in the sport, Egan Bernal’s star has continued to rise since joining the team in 2018. This season has seen the Colombian add overall victories at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Suisse to an already impressive palmarès. A crash on the eve of the Giro d’Italia saw Bernal forced to miss the Italian Grand Tour but he heads into July in great form, and is rightfully considered among the best pure climbers in the world.
Set for his 10th Grand Tour appearance this July, Jonathan Castroviejo is one of the most trusted all-rounders in the peloton. A decorated time trialist, with multiple national championships and a European title to his name, Castroviejo is also a key member of the team in the medium mountains. Comfortable setting a tempo on the climbs, he will hope to replicate his part in a winning 2018 Tour de France.
One of the classiest bike riders in the professional peloton, Michal Kwiatkowski has played a pivotal role in the team’s recent Grand Tour success with a series of selfless performances. The 2014 world champion has tasted success at Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico more recently, with a blend of all-round talent and experience making him an incredibly important member of the team.
Making his second Tour de France appearance, Gianni Moscon has developed into a superb all-round talent. Able to compete in and win one-week stage races in his own right, the Italian’s climbing capabilities continue to develop, making him a key addition to the squad. Moscon supported Chris Froome to Vuelta a Espana victory in his Grand Tour debut and will hope to be part of yet more success in July.
With 12 Grand Tours under his belt to date, Wout Poels has made a name for himself with his heroics in the high mountains. The Dutch climber has played a vital role in four of Chris Froome’s Grand Tour victories and was part of the 2018 winning Tour lineup for good measure. A fun presence on the bus and around the team, Poels is also a fierce competitor and arrives fresh off fourth place overall at the Criterium du Dauphine.
Luke Rowe has proved to be a lucky charm down the years, contributing to a team victory in all four of his previous Tour de France appearances. Now set to make his fifth consecutive start, the Welshman has grown with the team over the years and has developed into a respected road captain. An invaluable presence on the flat and the wind, Rowe is also adept at setting a tempo at the head of the race for kilometre after kilometre.
Starting the race in Brussels with the number one on his back, Geraint Thomas returns to the Tour 12 months after a dream race which saw him clinch the biggest result of his career. As comfortable in the mountains as he is on the time trial bike, Thomas’ all-round capabilities make him an ideal Grand Tour rider. Despite recently crashing out of the Tour de Suisse the Welshman has been training hard and heads into the race is strong form.
Making his fourth Tour start but first for the team, Dylan van Baarle has been impressing with his climbing performances in the medium mountains. Building on a strong base that has seen him excel in both time trials and the Classics, the Dutchman claimed a stage victory at the recent Criterium du Dauphine in addition to overall success at Herald Sun Tour this season.