A closer look at the Ineos Grenadiers squad for the Tour de France 2021

The team has promised to bring more exciting racing to the Tour this summer

Ineos Grenadiers at the Critérium du Dauphiné 2021
(Image credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images)

Ineos Grenadiers have announced their full squad for the 2021 Tour de France and, unsurprisingly, they have not held back on packing it with talent.

The seven-time winners of the race have revealed their team that contains a possible four leaders with the main focus being behind the 2018 winner and 2019 runner-up Geraint Thomas.

They have, however, vowed to make the race a lot more exciting than they have done in the past when they take a stranglehold on the race with their hugely powerful mountain trains.

Thomas turned 35 in May and this could be his last real shot at taking a second Tour title. The Welshman has been strong throughout the season so far using the full season as a steady build-up, taking third at the Volta a Catalunya, winning Romandie and coming third at the Dauphiné.

Next in line for the leadership role, perhaps even as co-leader, is 2019 Giro d'Italia winner Richard Carapaz, who comes into the race off the back of winning the overall at the Tour de Suisse last week where he looked in control.

>>> Ineos announce their full Tour de France 2021 squad

Carapaz, 28, put in solid displays at the Ardennes Classics as well as at the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country but didn't get close to the win as he had to work for other riders, instead gaining form towards the Tour and the Olympics.

The Ecuadorian had a decent Tour de France in 2020 where he was a late call up to the team after originally being down to ride the rescheduled Giro. At the Tour, he wore the mountains jersey but lost out to overall winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) in that classification on the penultimate day of the race.

Richie Porte returns to the Tour after taking a surprise third place overall behind the two Slovenian favourites of Pogačar and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

The Australian, who is 36, has taken 33 wins in his career and has seen a return to his very best form since returning to the British team of Ineos Grenadiers. Since returning he's taken two-second overalls at Catalunya and Romandie before winning the Dauphiné. All this despite having to abandon on stage one of Paris-Nice.

2020 Giro winner, Tao Geoghegan Hart decided not to return and try to defend his title at the Giro but join the Tour team. The 26-year-old has been relatively steady in form, taking 10th at the Tour du Var but then abandoned both Paris-Nice and Tour of the Basque Country.

Some strong support rides in the Ardennes Classics followed before returning to racing at the Dauphiné with a second-place on stage six as well as 10th overall.

One of the most vital domestiques in the Ineos team is former world champion Michał Kwiatkowski. The 31-year-old Polish rider has taken 28 wins in his career but it was last year where he finally took his first Tour de France stage win when he powered away in a two-man break with team-mate Carapaz. He also briefly wore the red leader's jersey at the Vuelta a España.

Dylan van Baarle has seen something of a resurgence this year, especially in the cobbled Classics where he raced four times managing a top 10 in all four, including a win at Dwars door Vlaanderen.

The Dutchman has been in the team for four years and the 29-year-old is one of their more vital riders on the early slopes in the mountains. He has only taken five wins in his career but that includes the overall at the Tour of Britain, the Herald Sun Tour and a stage of the Dauphiné.

Jonathan Castroviejo joins the Tour team after racing the Giro where he played a vital role for team-mate and winner, Egan Bernal.

The five-time Spanish national time trial champion hasn't taken a win since 2019 but is another key component to the potential mountain train, which no doubt we will see at points despite all of the promised attacking intent.

Last but not least, team captain Luke Rowe will be vital as the rider looks after the leaders on the tricky flat and hilly stages that litter the first week especially.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.