Berliner Tageblatt - Rodriguez, Bernal lead INEOS charge at Tour de France

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Rodriguez, Bernal lead INEOS charge at Tour de France
Rodriguez, Bernal lead INEOS charge at Tour de France / Photo: © AFP/File

Rodriguez, Bernal lead INEOS charge at Tour de France

Carlos Rodriguez and Egan Bernal will spearhead INEOS Grenadiers' challenge at the 2024 Tour de France, the British-based team announced on Monday.

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The eight-strong group features two former winners of the race -- Bernal and Geraint Thomas.

Spain's Rodriguez, 23, finished fifth in the Tour de France last year and won the Tour de Romandie in April.

Colombian star Bernal, who claimed the yellow jersey in 2019, suffered a serious injury after crashing into a bus during a training session three years later and has yet to rediscover his top form.

The 27-year-old finished seventh at Paris-Nice this year, third at Volta a Catalunya and fourth at the Tour de Suisse.

Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France winner, lines up alongside fellow British riders Tom Pidcock and Ben Turner.

Thomas made light of his 38 years in finishing third in this year's Giro d'Italia.

Spain's Jonathan Castroviejo, Belgium's Laurens De Plus and Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski complete the line-up.

Performance director Scott Drawer said: "After a strong and consistent season, Carlos will be leading the INEOS Grenadiers' charge across France.

"Carlos has continued to impress us with his racing as well as his professionalism and attitude on and off the bike.

"Right beside him will be the strength and Tour experience of Egan, with Tom and Geraint providing support but also looking to race aggressively, disrupt and take the race to our competition."

Rodriguez said: "I have great memories from last year's Tour de France, sharing some special moments with the team and my family so I hope this year will be even better."

Bernal said: "My ambition is to be really competitive and to be someone who can make a real difference in the race. As a team we want to win and we have a few riders who can do really well. It is going to be important to have different options especially in the second and third week."

The Tour de France starts on June 29 in the Italian city of Florence and finishes on July 21 in Paris.