Egan Bernal returns to Tour de France for Ineos Grenadiers

Colombian part of eight-man squad along with Tom Pidcock, Dani Martínez and Carlos Rodríguez

Egan Bernal rides at the Critérium du Dauphiné
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal is to return to the Tour de France for Ineos Grenadiers, with the Colombian the headline name of the team's lineup for July's race.

The 2019 champion has not raced a Grand Tour since his life-threatening crash at the beginning of 2022, but has shown flickers of form at the Tour de Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné this year.

Bernal is one of five Spanish-speakers in the Ineos squad, with Carlos Rodríguez, Omar Fraile, Jonathan Castroviejo and Dani Martínez lining up alongside Michał Kwiatkowski, Tom Pidcock and Ben Turner. It will be Turner and Rodríguez's debuts at the Tour.

One rider left out is Luke Rowe, the Welshman missing out on Tour selection for the first time since 2014; he had ridden eight Tours in a row up until this point.

Bernal said returning to the Tour had been his "major goal".

"I'm so excited to be able to experience every kilometre of this race again. 

"I’m sure many people have followed everything that has happened to me since my accident in January last year, and the journey I’ve been through to overcome the greatest test of my life. Being a part of this year’s Tour team reassures me that I’m on my way to returning to my best."

The team's deputy principle Rod Ellingworth said they are looking to give fans "plenty to cheer about".

"We’ve selected an exciting group of riders that bring a mix of skills and experience," Ellingworth said. "The strength of this team will lie in the way we take on the race, and how we approach each stage with the options we have.

"The whole team’s really thrilled for Egan, and everyone who’s supported him in his return to full fitness. It’s a demonstration of his character and resilience, and the extraordinary effort he’s put into his recovery over the past 18 months. 

"Of course, as a previous winner, he brings invaluable insight and a winning attitude to the group. His grit and determination sum up what we’re all about as a team, and all our riders will benefit from his experience at the Tour."

"Tom showed last year what a hugely exciting talent he is and his victory on Alpe d’Huez was just brilliant," he continued. "We’re looking forward to seeing him progress once again, applying what he learned last year.

Ineos Grenadiers, previously Team Sky, dominated at the Tour de France between 2012 and 2019, winning seven of eight editions, including five in a row between 2015 and 2019 through Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Bernal. However, the best the squad has managed since is third through Richard Carapaz in 2021, and Geraint Thomas in 2022.

Kwiatkowski, Fraile, Martínez and Pidcock have all previously won stages at the Tour. It's expected that Rodríguez will aim for general classification. Earlier this season, the "trident" of Bernal, Rodríguez and Martínez was trailed, but Pidcock could also aim for GC.

Ineos Grenadiers Tour de France 2023 squad

Egan Bernal
Jonathan Castroviejo
Omar Fraile
Michal Kwiatkowski
Daniel Martinez
Tom Pidcock
Carlos Rodriguez
Ben Turner

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