Paris, Sep 4 (IANS) Team Ineos dropping Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas for this year’s Tour de France is a surprising decision, according to two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador. Froome was instead named team leader for Vuelta a Espana, and Thomas for the Giro d’Italia.
“It’s a bit surprising because both have won the Tour de France and they are a big hit with the peloton,” Contrador said.
“Even more so, seeing the team that represents the Jumbo Visma, but I understand that this decision must have been chosen internally and for the team’s own interests.”
Between them, Froome and Thomas have won five of the past seven Tours. However, they showed poor form at the Criterium du Dauphine in mid-August that led to them being dropped from the team.
“The team will have its reasons for having decided this. Last year, between Froome and Thomas, we already saw some friction for calling it something and I don’t know if that could have influenced it. This decision is for the well-being of the team and to face the Tour de France in a more united way,” he said.
In their absence, Team Ineos’s challenge is led by defending champion Egan Bernal and the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz. Contador looks at him as one of the favourites to win the Tour this year, along with Jumbo-Visma pair Primoz Roglic and Tom Dumoulin.
“I would say that there are three cyclists who are the main favourites. Egan Bernal, Roglic, and Dumoulin are for me the main candidates to win the Tour de France this year, although we already know that anything can happen in a race like this,” he said. Tour de France Season 2020 is LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport HD.