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Egan Bernal set to skip Giro d'Italia and focus on Tour de France in 2020

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)
Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal has indicated he will skip the Giro d'Italia and focus squarely on the Tour de France in 2020. 

According to reports in Colombian newspapers this week, the 22-year-old, who this summer became the youngest winner of the Tour in more than 100 years, has made a final decision on his race programme for next season. 

Having indicated a strong possibility of targeting the Giro d'Italia when the 2020 route was revealed in October - shortly after the presentation of the 2020 Tour - Bernal is set to instead prepare '100 per cent' to try and win a second yellow jersey in as many years. 

According to El Tiempo, Bernal will begin his 2020 campaign at the Colombian national championships in Boyaca and will stay on home turf for his first stage race, the Tour Colombia, from February 11-16. 

In what is set to be a similar programme to 2019, he'll head to Europe to defend his Paris-Nice title in March, before possibly racing the Volta a Catalunya. With no Giro, he'd head back to Colombia to train for the Tour, using either the Tour de Suisse, which he won last year, or the Critérium du Dauphiné, as his final preparation race. 

Bernal had thought seriously about targeting the Giro, and even highlighted the possibility of the Giro-Tour double, a feat last successfully achieved by Marco Pantani in 1998. 

"For sure, I want to go back to the Tour, but I’d also really like to ride the Giro," he said in October.

He was meant to make his Giro debut this year, until a twist of fate saw him break his collarbone in the build-up, putting him on the path to Tour de France glory. Bernal has strong ties with Italy, having lived there when he first moved to Europe, and having ridden for the Androni Gioccattoli team, with whom he assumed he'd ride the Giro in 2017 until they were denied a wildcard. 

While the 2020 Giro d'Italia features three time trials, as well as a mountainous final week, the Tour de France is set to be more of a climber's race, with tests peppered throughout the three weeks and with just one time trial - one that finishes atop a mountain. 

While Bernal was keen to ride the Giro, the decision was influenced by his Ineos team, who have more potential Grand Tour winners than there are Grand Tours. It is understood that new signing Richard Carapaz will return to the Giro d'Italia to try and repeat his triumph of this year, while Geraint Thomas has indicated his preference for the Tour, having won it in 2018 and placed second behind Bernal this year. 

Also in the equation is four-time Tour winner Chris Froome, who is still recovering from serious injuries sustained at this year's Dauphiné, and who is fighting to return to full fitness in time for the Tour.