‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Team Ineos left Chris Froome out of the Tour de France,’ says Matt White

The Mitchelton-Scott sports director shares his thoughts on the leadership question in the rival team

Chris Froome at the 2020 UAE Tour (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Mitchelton-Scott sports director Matt White says he ‘wouldn’t be surprised’ if Team Ineos left Chris Froome at home during the 2020 Tour de France.

Froome, four-time Tour winner, is chasing a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey with the British WorldTour squad this year, but his status within the team has now come into question.

Earlier this month, news emerged that Froome would be leaving Team Ineos after more than a decade and will be heading to Israel Start-Up Nation next season.

Team Ineos currently has three Tour de France winners in its roster – Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal – while Froome is also returning from a severe leg break suffered last season, raising questions about whether he will be given the chance to ride a final Tour with the team.

Former pro White told SBS in Australia: “At Ineos all they care about is winning the Tour de France. They’re quite good at removing emotion from decisions and I think it will depend how Chris Froome comes back into racing."

White added: ”I wouldn’t be surprised if they left him out, having three leaders does complicate things. It’s going to be a tricky one to manage, because you’ve got the last winners of the Tour de France all in the same team.”

While Froome’s inclusion in the Tour squad is unquestioned for many fans, the reality is more complicated as Team Ineos try to balance the ambitions of their three leaders.

Froome, Bernal and Thomas have all expressed their desire to carry the yellow jersey into Paris, but Froome’s position in the team is uncertain due to his return from injury and because he is leaving at the end of 2020.

After news of Froome’s transfer emerged, Cycling Weekly asked David Millar and Sean Yates to get their views.

Millar believes that loyalty will not be the deciding factor for Team Ineos management, but instead it will be Froome’s fitness that secures him a spot in the team.

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Team Ineos sports director Servais Knaven said that his position in the squad will not change because of the transfer, saying “if Chris is the best, he wins.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.