Team Ineos have just one more opportunity to stretch their legs ahead of the 2020 Tour de France, as the Critérium du Dauphiné gets started this week.
After missing out to Jumbo-Visma in the Tour de l’Ain in France, the British WorldTour squad will be looking for redemption with a stacked line-up of Grand Tour talent.
It was a heated battle during the three-stage race in France, with Jumbo’s Primož Roglič emerging triumphant with two stage victories and the overall title, 18 seconds ahead of Ineos leader Egan Bernal.
Bernal will once again be lining up for Ineos at the delayed Critérium du Dauphiné, which is once again a major pre-Tour de France teaser race.
The Colombian star and reigning Tour de France champion re-started his season strongly with victory in La Route d’Occitannie, which he won by 19 seconds over team-mate Pavel Sivakov.
Thomas and Froome weren’t at their best last week, finishing 34th and 41st overall respectively, more than 20 minutes down on the leaders.
But Froome still put up a staggering ride on the early climbs of the final stage, posting his Strava stats online after the finish.
The Dauphiné will be Froome’s last chance to earn his place in the Tour de France team amid speculation about whether he will be fit enough to be included after his horrific injury suffered at the 2019 Dauphiné.
To support the trident, Ineos are taking some of their strongest performers both on the flats and in the mountains.
Pavel Sivakov will be racing after his stellar performance in the Tour de l’Ain, with Michał Kwiatkowski returning to his faithful support duties.
Jonathan Castroviejo is also in the mix with his strong time trial power and the line-up will be finished off by Dylan van Baarle.
According to French newspaper L’Equipe, the Team Ineos Tour de France squad is not yet settled as there is one final spot that still hasn’t been decided.
So far confirmed for the Tour are Bernal, Sivakov, Thomas, Castroviejo, Van Baarle, Kwiatkowski and Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart, according to the report.
The final spot will be awarded to either Froome, Andrey Amador, Luke Rowe or Eddie Dunbar, with the final few races before the start of the Tour on August 29 being the deciding factor.
Team Ineos line-up for the Critérium du Dauphiné 2020
Chris Froome (GBr)
Egan Bernal (Col)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp)
Michał Kwiatkowski (Pol)
Pavel Sivakov (Rus)
Geraint Thomas (GBr)
Dylan van Baarle (Ned)