While the new road to the summit of the Col de la Loze will take centre stage for cycling in four weeks' time for stage 17 of the year's Tour de France, it also saw the new colours and branding of Team Ineos on the likes of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and, according to the French media, Egan Bernal, on Tuesday.
What appears to be the same seven-rider Team Ineos squad from the recent Critérium du Dauphiné – including Froome, Thomas and what looks to be reigning Tour champion Bernal, who pulled out of the Dauphiné with back pain, at the back of the group – was spotted in the Savoie department, training on roads that will be part of this year's Tour.
Using pictures from a social-media post by Thierry Carroz, French newspaper Le Dauphiné (opens in new tab) reported that Bernal was present, and showed that the team's trademark burgundy remained on the helmets, with new Castelli kits in very dark blue. The jerseys displayed the Grenadier name and a red A logo on the front, with the Ineos name on the legs of the shorts.
The British WorldTour team confirmed in July that it would change its name to Ineos Grenadiers for the start of the Tour de France on August 29. Ineos, a UK-based petrochemicals company, has launched Ineos Automotive, and is set to roll out its first vehicle in the industry next year – a 4x4 vehicle called the Grenadier.
Bernal is expected to be part of the Ineos Grenadiers' line-up at the Tour de France, with leadership roles still to be determined. The last major stage race was not kind to them: Bernal withdrew from the Dauphiné ahead of the penultimate stage with his back problems, Thomas finished 37th in the general classification after the full five days and Froome was 71st, 1 hour, 26 minutes behind eventual winner Dani Martinez of EF Pro Cycling.
UCI regulations allow for a change of name and colours once per season. Team Ineos have previously undergone a kit change during their days as Team Sky. At the 2018 Tour de France, they wore a special design with whales on the back to support Sky's Ocean Rescue campaign, while the team rebranded as Ineos when it changed sponsor in the middle of the 2019 season.
Aujourd’hui c’était au tour du dernier vainqueur du Tour de France et de la Team INEOS de reconnaître le Col de la Loze. Ça envoie du gros !! 👍 Club des Sports Méribel / Méribel Coeur des 3 vallées Thierry Carroz (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by @thierrycarroz on Aug 18, 2020 at 4:04am PDT
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