Egan Bernal has again said he would like to ride both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in 2020, shrugging off any talk of being under pressure after winning the 2019 Tour de France and any sense of rivalry within Team Ineos.
Bernal has talked about his 2020 goals several times during interviews in recent months, always carefully choosing his words. As he begins training or the new season, he seems more convinced than ever about targeting the 2020 Giro d'Italia before riding the Tour de France in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS after being awarded the AS America del Deporte award.
Team Ineos will again target victory at the Tour de France but with Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and new signing Richard Carapaz on their 2020 roster, and a strong squad and huge budget to back them, the British team could also try to win all three Grand Tours in 2020.
Froome has already stated he hopes to target a fifth Tour de France next July if he fully recovers from the multiple fractures he sustained in a warm-up crash at the Critérium du Dauphiné in June. Carapaz is expected to try to defend his 2019 Giro d'Italia victory, with Thomas also linked to riding the Italian Grand Tour. Bernal is a team player but his personal ambitions and hopes of becoming the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same season could disrupt Team Ineos' logical plans. Bernal never rode the Giro d'Italia while at Androni Giocattoli and seems keen to return to where he first set-up home when he first moved to Europe.
"The thing I'd like to do is ride the Giro and then the Tour, I'm super excited about the chance of riding the Giro. It's a very beautiful race; I lived in Italy for two years and have lots of friends there. I've already ridden the Tour, so I could try for it in Italy," As reported Bernal as saying during an interview for the America del Deporte award.
"Doing both is very complicated, but if we make the decision we could do it, although I know it is almost impossible. I'm a very open to riding the Giro, the Tour or even the Vuelta, they are all very important races."
Team Ineos will soon gather in Mallorca for a first winter training camp, where they are likely to discuss and prepare for their major goals for 2020. Bernal suggested the team management always listen to any requests from the riders, indicating they may allow him to target the Giro and Tour in 2020.
"With the team it is easy to choose the goals because they take into account the opinion of the riders. They will never take you to a race you don't want to go to," Bernal suggested.
"On the other hand, we must take into account the opinions of the other riders. There are Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and now Richard Carapaz, so we all have to come up with an ideal plan that we feel comfortable with and suits our careers and the roles we have. We talk a lot and so far there has never been a problem because it's very easy to talk with Chris and Geraint Thomas."
Bernal will turn 23 on January 13 but appears wise beyond his years. He moved to Europe and turned professional with Androni Giocattoli when he was just 18. He immediately showed his talents and character before moving to Team Sky in 2018. He won the Colombia Oro y Paz race and the Tour of California before finishing 15th on his Tour de France debut where played a key support role for Thomas and Froome.
In 2019 he became the first ever Colombian to win the Tour de France but remains unaffected by the pressure and expectation on his young shoulders.
"I've tried not to feel the pressure," he explained carefully.
"It can be looked at in two ways: the first is that I am young and how many more Tours will I win? Or the way that I see it, is that I'm 22 years old and I've already won a Tour de France. I've already done what I wanted to do; I was the first Colombian to do it and I feel that I'm good at doing what I do. Obviously I'll try to win another Tour, a Giro, a Vuelta but whatever happens, I've already won a Tour and nobody can take it away from me. It's not that I am relaxing but I think I've already done something very good and so I shouldn't feel any pressure."