Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) says he is not yet thinking about which Grand Tour to target in 2020, but admits he is tempted by the mountainous Giro d’Italia route.
The 2020 Giro, the route of which was revealed last week, sits in contrast to the Tour de France with just under 60km of time trialling and long, high altitude mountain stages defining the final week. The Tour meanwhile features shorter, punchier climbing stages with just a single time trial on the penultimate day to the top La Planche des Belles Filles.
While both routes could suit Bernal, the defending Tour champion admits the more classic style Giro route appeals to him. He originally planned a challenge for the pink jersey this year but was forced to shift to the Tour after breaking his collarbone the week before the Giro start.
“I don’t know [which race I’ll ride] yet, I also have a lot of respect for the Giro and Vuelta,” Bernal told Sporza at the Saitama Criterium. “On the other hand, I would also like to be there in the Tour of 2020 as title defender. The plan has yet to be made.
“In the Giro there are many long stages and that is something I like, just like many long climbs. In the Tour the stages in 2020 are shorter and you have much shorter, explosive slopes. The Giro route is very complete, but I cannot yet say which course suits me best.”
Ineos in 2020 are a squad stacked with Grand Tour leaders. Not only do they now have this year’s Tour winner in Bernal and 2018 winner Geraint Thomas, but also four-time champion Chris Froome returning from injury and have for the new year signed Giro winner Richard Carapaz.
Thomas has already express an interest in returning to the Giro, while Froome is aiming for a record-equaling fifth Tour win. Bernal however says he will target the race the team decides will suit him best, potentially in a joint leadership role with either Thomas or Froome.
“I would like to return to the Tour, but I also want to be there in the Giro,” Bernal added. “The team will decide, they have more expertise in that. I don’t want to think too much about that yet.”
The 22-year-old also revealed to Sporza that he would be relocating to Monaco from Andorra for the new season, where he’ll be able to live and train closer to team-mates and Ineos team facilities.