Team Sky’s star riders have confirmed their plans for the 2019 season
Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas will both target the 2019 Tour de France, while young star Egan Bernal will be given his first Grand Tour leadership at the Giro d’Italia.
Team Sky have firmed up their plans for the new season, with both Thomas and Froome hoping to repeat their victories in France.
Bernal, the 21-year-old Colombian super-talent, will be leading the team at the Giro in only his second season at WorldTour level.
Froome, now 33, said: “I’m getting to the point in my career now where I’m starting to think about what kind of legacy I want to leave behind and if I am able to win the Tour de France for a fifth time and join that very elite group of bike riders – only four other people have ever done that – it would just be incredible.
“It’s been a hard decision to figure out exactly what to do in 2019 and figure out which Grand Tours to focus on, especially having won the Giro last year and having had such an amazing time out there with the time.”
Froome added that he will not return to the Giro in 2019 to defend his title.
The team will be keen to ride strong this year as their main backer, broadcaster Sky, will be pulling out at the end of the season, leaving Team Sky bosses working to secure the squad’s future.
Thomas has also detailed his plans for the new year, after riding career-defining season in 2018.
The Welshman, who emerged the surprise winner of the Tour de France last year, will return to defend his yellow jersey and target the World Championship time trial in Yorkshire.
He said: “The main goal for me will be to go back to the Tour de France for the best result I can.
“Maybe if I hadn’t won the Tour in 2018 I might have looked at a Giro/Vuelta programme but, having won the Tour, I’ll have the number one on my back and it would be sad not to go back to go back at 100 per cent as well.
“I think the [World Championship] time trial will be my best chance of getting something out of it.
“It will be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in the UK and in Yorkshire especially is just unbelievable at the moment.
“They’re going to be a massive Worlds and it will be great to be a part of that.”
Team Sky have shown their trust in the young Colombian Bernal, who shone in his first season in the WorldTour.
After winning both the Colombia Oro y Paz and the Tour of California, Bernal was a key component during the Tour de France when riding in support of Froome and Thomas.
He said: “The Giro is a race that I really like.
“I lived in Italy for three years, so I have a lot of friends there and I really like the Italian fans.
“I know the roads, I really like the Giro and I want to do a good race there.”