Egan Bernal abandons Critérium du Dauphiné 2020

The 2019 Tour de France winner had dropped to seventh overall and lost the white jersey on stage three before failing to start stage four

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal has abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné with back problems before the start of stage four.

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) said before stage four: "He's just got a bit of an issue with his back. He's not 100 per cent. He's had two races before this as well, so he has a good amount of race days in him, so it's just err-ing on the side of caution really.

"Just got to make sure he's 100 per cent for the Tour [de France]."

The 2018 Tour winner continued "This just doesn't give us as much of a focus on the general classification, so we'll try and get someone in the break and just use the last two days of racing."

>>> Tom Dumoulin says Primož Roglič is Jumbo-Visma’s leader and Egan Bernal is leader at Ineos

This could still give chances to other riders, such as Thomas, to show their GC credentials. Maybe the young Russian, Pavel Sivakov, who performed well yesterday, and finished in the same group as Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).

Speaking about Chris Froome, Thomas heralded his team-mate's recovery, saying the four-time Tour champion still contributes a lot to the team even if he isn't at the peak of his powers.

"He's improved a lot, I think it's easy to forget where he was last year, it is unbelievable how he's recovered." said Thomas.

"Obviously he'd like to be better but, to make that initial jump is okay, he just needs a bit of time to really find his legs again but he still contributes to the team and is great to have around."

Bernal was seventh at 31s from Roglič, Sivakov in 18th at 3-15, Thomas in 28th at 7-36 and Froome in 60th at 29-30.

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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.