Team Ineos have announced their formidable line-up for the Route d’Occitanie 2020 stage race, which starts this weekend.
The British WorldTour squad will be lining up at the French four-day race from Saturday (August 1) with two of the Tour de France winners, as they prepare for the delayed Tour in later in the month.
The star duo will have a serious cast of support riders behind them as well, including Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart.
Pavel Sivakov and Andrey Amador will also return to racing with the team in France, along with time trial specialist Jonathan Castroviejo with Dylan Van Baarle completing the seven-rider squad.
Occitanie often attracts a handful of big riders, but this year the race has even more prominence on the calendar as a it’s the first French stage race of the reset season, making it a pivotal preparation race for riders targeting the Tour de France.
Team Ineos will face competition from the likes of Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale , Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana).
The Ineos Grand Tour leaders will start their season there before heading to the Tour de l’Ain on August 7 and the Critérium du Dauphiné on August 12 before the Tour de France departs from Nice on August 29.
These preparation races will be key for Chris Froome, who is hoping to target a fifth yellow jersey with the team after his serious injury last year, and with his departure for Israel Start-Up Nation in 2021.
Geraint Thomas is missing Occitanie and instead will start his season at the Tour de l’Ain.
Ineos have also confirmed their squad for Strade Bianche, the first WorldTour race of the new season, with Michał Kwiatkowski, Luke Rowe and Gianni Moscon headlining the roster.
Team Ineos squad for Route d’Occitanie 2020
Egan Bernal (Col)
Chris Froome (GBr)
Andrey Amador (CRC)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp)
Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr)
Pavel Sivakov (Rus)
Dylan van Baarle (Ned)