Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal will lead Team Ineos at next week’s Tour de Suisse as part of their final preparations for the Tour de France. With Chris Froome out of contention for a possible fifth Tour de France victory due to his crash at the Criterium du Dauphine on Wednesday, Thomas and Bernal will use the Tour de Suisse to ensure Team Ineos have the best possible chance of yet another victory in this year’s Tour de France.
Thomas won the 2018 Tour de France and has opted for an alternative race programme to Froome. The Welshman celebrated his 2018 victory for several months but worked hard to get back to his best and finished third overall at the Tour de Romandie. The nine-day Tour de Suisse will reveal Thomas' true form.
Bernal has not raced since the Volta a Catalunya in late March and is also looking for confirmation of his fitness. He fractured his collarbone just a few days before the Giro d’Italia but made a rapid recovery after surgery, setting a Strava record on a climb near his residence in the Pyrenees before heading home to Colombia for an altitude training camp.
Also in the Team Ineos line up for the Tour de Suisse are key road captain Luke Rowe, sprinter Ben Swift, Owain Doull, Frenchman Kenny Elissonde, and Spanish time trialist and rouleur Jonathan Castroviejo. Some of those riders are likely to form part of the eight-rider Team Ineos squad for the Tour de France, with other riders from the squad currently competing at the Criterium du Dauphine.
The nine-day Tour de Suisse starts on Sunday with a 9.5km out-and-back individual time trial in Langnau im Emmental. The riders face another time trial around Goms on stage 8. The key days in the mountain come on stages 5, 6, and 7, with a mountain finish at the 2,090 metre San Gottardo on stage 7.
Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the Tour de Suisse with live coverage, race reports, photo galleries and news.
Team Ineos for the Tour de Suisse: Geraint Thomas, Egan Bernal, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift, Owain Doull, Kenny Elissonde, Jonathan Castroviejo.