The organisers of the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia are hoping Egan Bernal will ride their race after abandoning the Tour de France, while Cyclingnews understands Richard Carapaz will definitely line-up for the Vuelta alongside Chris Froome.
Bernal is recovering from the fatigue of the Tour de France and undergoing checks and treatment on his back problems at his new European base in Monaco. Any decision on his return to racing in 2020 depends on the results of full medical checks.
He has always said the Spanish Grand Tour was an option depending on his performance at the Tour de France but riding the Ardennes Classics in October instead of another taxing Grand Tour could be an option to avoid an early and disappointing end to his year.
Both the Vuelta a España and the Giro d’Italia have been courting Bernal since he left the Tour de France, knowing the presence of the Colombian would boost the profile of their race and offer him a chance to bounce back.
The Giro d’Italia starts on Saturday October 3 leaving little time for recovery but race director Mauro Vegni hinted Bernal could perhaps ride the Corsa Rosa in support of Geraint Thomas.
“I’m happy to have Thomas at the Giro d’Italia, he won the Tour two years ago, was second last year and showed he’s on form at Tirreno-Adriatico. If he manages to have a domestique de luxe, then even better,” Vegni said on Italian television on Thursday.
“If you don’t get a result in the most important race, you’ve got to aim for other things, otherwise the season would be a bit of a failure.”
Vuelta race director Javier Guillen is also keen to court Bernal and perhaps see him line-up alongside Froome and Carapaz.
“He’s got different options but we want Bernal to ride the Vuelta,” Guillen said to Marca.
“We’ve got three fewer stages this year and that can help psychologically. We always want the best riders and so we hope we can have Froome and Bernal at the Vuelta.”
Carapaz to ride the Vuelta a España
Carapaz will complete a transformation of his season after originally planning to defend his 2019 Giro d’Italia victory.
He was drafted into the Ineos Grenadiers team to support Bernal at the Tour de France after team manager Dave Brailsford opted to divert Geraint Thomas to the Giro d’Italia and Chris Froome to the Vuelta a Espana.
The Spanish Grand Tour will include just 17 stages this year and be held between Tuesday October 20 and Sunday November 8. It will be the final race of the rescheduled WorldTour calendar.
When Bernal abandoned the Tour de France due to fatigue and a nagging back injury, Carapaz went on the attack on three consecutive stages. He was caught close to the finish on stage 17 and then finished second, arm in arms with teammate Michal Kwiatkowski on Thursday.
Ineos Grenadiers refused to confirm that Carapaz will ride the Vuelta, but several sources confirmed to Cyclingnews that the Ecuadorean climber will be at the start of the race in Irun in the Basque Country.
Ineos Grenadiers said they would support Froome to target another Grand Tour title after he made a comeback to racing following his terrible accident at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine. However, he will leave the team in 2021 and join Israel Start-Up Nation and struggled to be competitive at the recent Tirreno-Adriatico. Carapaz would be a valid alternative leader.
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