Egan Bernal set to make Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France

21-year-old reportedly set to ride in support of Chris Froome in July.

Egan Bernal wins stage six of the Tour of California
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Egan Bernal's dream first season in the WorldTour looks set to continue with Team Sky reportedly willing to give him a Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France in July.

According to Spanish sports newspaper Marca, the 21-year-old Colombian, who has just won the Tour of California, will be part of the eight-rider team for the Tour de France, taking a domestique role in support of Chris Froome.

Bernal had been expected to make his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España, but his agent, Giuseppe Acquadro, said that it had been decided that Bernal would ride the Tour in a domestique role so that he would be under less pressure than at the Vuelta where some might expect him to mount a GC challenge.

>>> Tour de France 2018 route: Alpe d'Huez and Paris-Roubaix cobbles return for 2018 race

"The decision was taken after the Tour of California," said Acquadro, who also has the likes of Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Michal Kwiatkowski, and Richard Carapaz on his books.

"If he went to the Vuelta then he would be under more pressure than at the Tour because more people would be looking at him and he would have more leadership responsibilities.

"Going to the Tour de France in the shadow of Chris Froome will allow him to ride out of the limelight. It will let him work and learn, which is good looking ahead, and he will not be under as much pressure."

Watch: Tour de France 2018 route guide

Speaking at the Giro d'Italia, Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford said that a decision had not yet been made, but that he could not rule out that Bernal could be on the start line of the Tour de France in Noirmoutier-en-l'Île on July 7.

Having signed for Team Sky at the start of 2018, Bernal has enjoyed an exceptional first half of the year following two years racing at Professional Continental level with Androni-Sidermec.

Starting off the year with sixth place in the Tour Down Under, Bernal then won the Colombia Oro y Paz before crashing out of the Volta a Catalunya and fracturing his shoulder on the final stage while sitting in second place overall, and taking second place in the Tour de Romandie in his first race back after his injury.

Most recently Bernal took his first overall victory in a WorldTour race with a dominant performance at the Tour of California where he won two stages, including the defining mountain stage to South Lake Tahoe by nearly a minute and a half.

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