Tour de France winner Egan Bernal has announced a possible Giro debut only for 2021. In an interview with the Spanish daily El Pais, the Colombian admitted that he would have liked to compete in the Tour of Italy this season and tackle the Giro Tour double. “We thought about it, but we immediately saw that it wasn’t the best year for it,” said Bernal.
The Ineos captain gave several reasons for his decision to focus entirely on defending his title at the Tour of France.
“First of all, I’m only 23 years old and have never competed in two major tours in one year. And when I ride the Giro after winning the Tour, people expect me to do well here too, which means winning it or at least finishing on the podium. And then I would have to go to the Tour to defend my title. Besides, this year there’s a week less than 2019 between the Giro and the Tour,” Bernal listed the points that spoke against the double.
Apparently, the Ineos team management around manager Dave Brailsford saw it that way and nominated a trio of the three overall winners Bernal (2019), Chris Froome (2013, 2015 – 17) and Geraint Thomas (2018) for the Tour. He is a huge fan of the Giro, especially since he lived in Italy for two years. “But I can understand the team. The best decision is to concentrate on the Tour. The Giro would then be something for the following year,” added the first Colombian Tour winner in history.
Bernal also started the season at the National Championships this year, finishing third in the time trial and second in the road race. He finished the Tour Colombia 2.1 in fourth place, 54 seconds behind overall winner Sergio Higuita (EF).
Bernal will make his European debut as he did in 2019 at Paris-Nice, where he will compete as defending champion in the Tour as he will later this summer.