The cycling, in fact the whole sports news in the UK today is dominated by Team Ineos’ leaving out 5 Tour de France’s worth of yellow jersey’s at home for this years race.
Chris Froome was (maybe unsurprisingly given he is off to Israel/Start up Nation) the headline name left out of the squad with 2018 winner Geraint Thomas shocked to miss out.
Froome has been part of transfer negotiations all season and at one point there was even talk of him heading to his new team in time to lead them in the race. That would have been a really good option with I/SIN losing Dan Martin last week to a crash in the Dauphine.
However he stayed with the team he joined from Barloworld with Thomas and has been rewarded for his loyalty by being cut. Let’s hope he has a GCN Racepass…
To be fair to Froome he has taken it graciously and accepted an autumn Vuelta as his last outing in the Ineos colours.
Thomas on the other hand was more of a surprise. He had worked well in tandem with Egan Bernal last summer and seemed to be the most ok with sharing team leadership. However the interview he did on TV after the penultimate stage of the Dauphine saw him admit to being 1kg over weight and that he needed to shift it.
He gets to ride the Giro as compensation.
You wonder whether this is a move to keep Bernal happy or whether the performance of the climbing unit in the last couple of stage races has been that poor, Sir Dave Brailsford was moved to shake things up.
Jumbo/Visma have dominated Ineos this season so far and something needs to change for that not to be the case around ‘Le hexagon’ in the next few weeks.
Thomas will have received a boost to his Giro ambitions with reigning pink jersey Richard Carapaz one of the riders called up to help Bernal in the Tour.
Is this the best or craziest move this team has ever made?
Can’t wait to find out.