Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz will open their seasons next month

The 2019 Grand Tour winning pair have confirmed their first races of the year

Egan Bernal on stage 20 of the Tour de France 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz will be starting their 2020 seasons in South America next month.

The pair, both Grand Tour winners in 2019, will be lining up at the Tour Colombia 2.1 in early February, kicking off their seasons at high altitude and with some tough competition.

Bernal will face a very different challenge this season as he returns to the peloton a Tour de France winner at just 22, emerging victorious after a thrilling edition of the Tour last season.

His 2019 was remarkable by any rider’s standards, never mind one so young, as he won the Tour, the Tour de Suisse, Paris-Nice and Gran Piemonte.

Richard Carapaz will be taking part in his first race in Team Ineos colours, after the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner transferred from Movistar for the new season.

Tour Colombia 2.1 kicks off on February 11 and is expected to include a host of South American talent, as Team Ineos will be taking an entirely local squad to the race.

The British WorldTour team will send Colombians Bernal, Iván Sosa, Sebastián Henao and new signing Brandon Rivera, alongside Ecuadorians Carapaz and Jhonatan Narváez.

Their rivals are likely to include Winner Anacona, who has joined Arkéa-Samsic, Sergio Higuita and Daniel Martínez (both EF Education First).

Tour Colombian has quickly become a popular early-season tester after it was launched in 2018, the inaugural edition won by Bernal.

>>> Rohan Dennis targets Tour Down Under victory in first Ineos race 

Last season, an all Colombian top-six feature all the major names from the blossoming cycling nation, including overall winner Miguel Ángel López (Astana), Sosa, Bernal, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Urán.

Stage winners last year included Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Colombian sprinter Álvaro Hodeg, along with his team-mates Bob Jungels and Julian Alaphilippe, while Quintana won the final stage.

The 2020 edition will feature a 16.7km time trial to open the race, followed by five road stages through Boyacá, Cundinamarca and Bogotá.

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