Egan Bernal says Primož Roglič will be the strongest amongst his rivals in the Tour de France 2020.
Reigning champion Bernal has been looking ahead to his defence of the yellow jersey and highlighted Slovenian Roglič as a major threat after his victory in the Vuelta a España last year.
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The 2020 Tour de France is looking like it will be a hard-fought battle between Team Ineos and Jumbo-Visma, as both teams are planning to take multiple Grand Tour winners to battle it out in France.
In an interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, Bernal said: “Anything can happen, but in my eyes Roglič will be the strongest.
“He gets a lot of respect from everyone in the peloton. He was the leader in last year’s UCI rankings, won the Vuelta, stood on the podium in the Giro, is good in time trials, can climb well and is very consistent.”
But the 23-year-old said you can’t write anyone off, as he pointed out that Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) caught everyone off guard and came within days of winning the Tour last year.
Bernal will head into the 2020 as race favourite and defending champion, as he rides alongside 2018 champion Geraint Thomas.
Chris Froome is also battling hard to recover from injury in time to line up in France and target his fifth yellow jersey.
But Team Ineos will face strong competition, most notably from Dutch outfit Jumbo-Visma who have dramatically ramped up their Grand Tour credentials in recent years.
Their efforts resulted in their riders landing on the podium of every three-week race last year, as Steven Kruiswijk finished third in the Tour, while Roglič took third in the Giro and returned to win his first Grand Tour in Spain.
Jumbo-Visma have also had a massive boost through the addition of Tom Dumoulin, former time trial world champion and winner of the 2017 Giro d’Italia.
However, Dumoulin is returning from a knee injury suffered in last year’s Giro which took him out for the rest of the season, and has already had the start of his 2020 delayed by illness.
On Jumbo’s squad Bernal added: “Dumoulin in particular will be an important rider. He is someone who can climb better in shape than a pure climber. We don’t know how he is after the injury, but I think he will be in shape.”