Caleb Ewan bounced back from disappointment in the first two stages of the Tour de France to seal a superb victory in the third stage on Monday. 

The Lotto-Soudal rider crashed on the first stage before finishing last in the second, but was imperious in the closing stages in Sisteron, beating Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) in a sprint finish. 

Bennett's Deceuninck-Quick-Step team-mate, Julian Alaphilippe, finished in the peloton to keep the yellow jersey, with an advantage of four seconds over Adam Yates.

Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Jerome Cousin (Total Direct Energie) and Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) broke away early in the 194-kilometre route from Nice.

Perez collected enough points on the Cols de Filon, Paye and Leques to secure the King of the Mountains jersey for stage four, but his race ended with a high-speed collision on the descent from the latter climb. 

The 29-year-old Frenchman collided with a Cofidis vehicle as he chased back after a puncture, suffering a suspected fractured left collarbone, collapsed lung and broken rib.

The peloton picked up speed with 16km remaining, reeling in a tired Cousin for the final sprint. 

Peter Sagan (Bora–Hansgrohe) made a move from far out but Bennett passed him and Australian Ewan then jumped off he wheel of the Irish champion to add another stage victory to the three he secured last year.  

EWAN'S RISK REWARDED

Ewan praised his team-mates for their contribution and has set his sights on more victories. "The guys did a great job keeping me at the front," he said. “Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I got through past the barrier and had the speed in the end.

"This is the biggest race in the world and I'm so happy to get another win and prove last year wasn't a fluke. I hope to keep coming back and keep winning."

STAGE RESULT

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 5:17:42
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling Team)
4. Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation)
5. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 13:59:17
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) +0:07

Points Classification

1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 79 
2. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 77
3. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 74

King of the Mountains

1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 21
2. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling Team) 12
3. Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) 6

WHAT'S NEXT

A 160.5km ride from Sisteron to Orcieres-Merlette takes in the spectacular scenery of the Hautes-Alpes and features a 1800 metre climb.

Anthony Perez was forced to abandon the Tour de France after suffering a suspected fractured left collarbone, collapsed lung and broken rib when he crashed into a team car on stage three.

The 29-year-old Frenchman was set to don the polka dot jersey on Tuesday, but his race came to a dramatic halt on the descent of the Col des Leques during the 198-kilometre route from Nice to Sisteron.

Perez was rewarded for a strong breakaway with King of the Mountains points on Monday but collided with a Team Cofidis vehicle as he chased back after suffering a puncture.

Team Cofidis tweeted on their rider's condition: "Anthony was taken care of by the race medical service and transferred to Digne-les-Bains hospital.

"The first elements show an open rib fracture with possible pneumothorax. Neither the staff nor the race's medical team has yet confirmed the fractured collarbone.

"Anthony will undergo extensive examinations [including a CT scan] at the hospital."

Julian Alaphilippe moved into the yellow jersey in the Tour de France after claiming victory in the second stage by edging Marc Hirschi in a dramatic finish.

Frenchman Alaphilippe held the race leader's jersey for 14 stages last year and the man regarded by many as the best cyclist on the planet was rewarded on this occasion for an attack on the final climb.

After the initial breakaway was caught with 40 kilometres left of the 186km ride to the finish in Nice, it was Alaphilippe who made a push for the front with 12km to go.

That move on the Col des Quatre Chemins looked to be an early one but it proved to be timed to perfection.

Hirschi (Team Sunweb) and Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) went with the Deceuninck–Quick-Step rider, setting the stage for a thrilling sprint to the line in the final kilometre with the chasing pack closing fast.

Alaphilippe made the final push with around 400 metres to go and, although Swiss rider Hirschi responded brilliantly, he did not have enough to overtake before the finish.

The winner of the King of the Mountains classification in 2018, Alaphilippe was in tears after crossing the line and dedicated the victory to his father, who passed away in June.

Alaphilippe takes the yellow jersey and holds a four-second advantage over Yates in the General Classification, Hirschi is three seconds further back.

Alexander Kristoff, who won a chaotic opening stage on Saturday, was over 28 minutes off the pace as he surrendered the yellow jersey.


YATES SATISFIED DESPITE SPRINT FAILINGS

Yates does not possess the same sprinting ability as Alaphilippe and Hirschi and, recognising his deficiency in that area, expressed satisfaction with his performance.

He told ITV: "Maybe if there was another climb or something, but, in a sprint with them two, on this kind of finish, I was always going to end up second or third. All in all it was a good day."

STAGE RESULT

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 4:55:27
2. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb)
3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:01
4. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) +0:02 
5. Sergio Higuita (EF Pro Cycling)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 8:41:35
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:04
3. Marc Hirschi (Team Sunweb) +0:07

Points Classification

1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 64
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 46
3. Matteo Trentin (CCC Team) 36

King of the Mountains

1. Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R La Mondiale) 18
2. Anthony Perez (Cofidis) 18
3. Michael Gogl (NTT Pro Cycling Team) 12

WHAT'S NEXT

A 198km ride from Nice to Sisteron, and its spectacular citadel, is one that should feature another sprint to the line on a flat finish.

Mark Cavendish will miss the 2020 Tour de France and Bahrain-McLaren general manager Rod Ellingworth believes "it's hard to say" whether he will feature in the race again.

The British rider was left out of the eight-man line-up for the belated Grand Tour, which starts in Nice on Saturday, with Bahrain-McLaren focusing their attentions on a yellow jersey push for Mikel Landa.

Cavendish, the points classification winner in 2011, said he did not feel ready for the race due to a lack of time on his bike amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old sits second on the list of all-time Tour stage wins, with his tally of 30 just four fewer than the record held by Belgian great Eddy Merckx.

Asked for the chances of Cavendish being on the start line for another Tour in the future, Ellingworth said: "It's hard to say. I think unfortunately for him, this situation we've found ourselves in, not racing, it went against him.

"If you've spent two years off the bike having lots of problems you need a consistent period of time to get yourself back to a decent level.

"I think as we all know with Mark, he's a bike racer; he's not particularly into the training, he loves racing. I think he was at a bit of a disadvantage in that sense, like many riders, just with the issues that he had. He just needed some consistent racing. So I don't know, I think time will tell."

When explaining why he would not take part in the Tour, Cavendish said he was looking to "build into a big year next year".

Ellingworth added: "I think he was quite rightfully upfront to say he wasn't ready for this year's Tour, and we'll keep working.

"That's what he's doing now, he's at home working and looking forward to the other races. Time will tell."

Tour de France organisers will decide if a team is withdrawn from the race after two confirmed coronavirus cases, the UCI said after changing its regulations.

The 2020 Tour begins on Saturday, yet competitors had been concerned by the threat of hasty removals in the event of positive COVID-19 tests.

The initial regulations stated an entire team and its staff would be expelled from the Tour if it had two individuals contract the virus.

But the UCI announced on Friday its rules had been "re-evaluated" for the Grand Tours, instead allowing race organisers to make the call.

Its update stated: "In the case of two or more riders from the same team testing positive for COVID-19 within a period of seven days at a Grand Tour, the UCI will give the event organiser authorisation to announce the withdrawal of the team for health reasons, on the condition, however, that the global medical assessment carried out confirm the positive cases."

The UCI has sought to ensure false positive tests do not rule riders or teams out of action as it calls for "complementary examinations" if initial results suggest a confirmed case.

"In the case of a positive test for COVID-19 during a Grand Tour, the organiser must do everything possible – but without being liable – to proceed as far as possible with a complementary test and a serological analysis before the following stage," the UCI said.

"These complementary examinations will be a very useful additional element in the global medical assessment, which will make it possible to evaluate the contagious character or not of the rider (or team member) and which will enable the regulatory measures to be applied."

If a rider or team member is confirmed positive for coronavirus or cannot carry out a second test, they "will be isolated according to the health regulations and will leave the event in question".

The UCI explained these adjustments "come from the desire to optimise the interpretation of a positive viral diagnostic test and confirm that it indeed corresponds with a recent coronavirus infection".

Egan Bernal will be managing a back injury on the Tour de France and is wary of the threat posed by Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo-Visma team.

Ahead of his defence of the yellow jersey, Bernal appeared to be in good form with a victory at La Route d'Occitanie and a runner-up finish in the Tour de l'Ain.

However, Team INEOS' sole lead rider for the Grand Tour, with former champions Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas left out of the line, withdrew from the Criterium du Dauphine with a back problem.

Bernal acknowledged the issue was persisting on the eve of the Grand Depart in Nice on Saturday, but he is hopeful of being in contention in the final week.

"I feel a little bit of pain in the back, to be honest. I'm much better than I was in the Dauphine. In the Dauphine it was really bad, the pain," said Bernal.

"But these days I'm feeling much better and I hope during the whole Tour to be working hard and trying to recover, especially for the last week."

Alongside Bernal, Roglic is one of the leading contenders going into the rescheduled Tour despite a crash in the Dauphine.

The Slovenian beat Bernal at the Tour de l'Ain and has not finished outside the top four in any of the 11 stage races he has completed since April 2018, winning eight of them.

Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team-mate Tom Dumoulin, the 2017 Giro d'Italia winner, is also among the favourites, having placed in the top two in each of his previous three Grand Tour finishes, but he has not completed one since the 2018 Tour.

"I think they [Jumbo-Visma] are really something. For sure they will be one of the favourites to win the race," said Bernal.

"Primoz, in the past races, he was the strongest guy and he was flying. I think they will be one of the favourites and we need to be really careful with him and also Tom Dumoulin, who was getting better in the last races.

"That's something good for the race to have another strong team, a really, really strong team to fight.

"It can be good for us because they will need to take some responsibility in the race."

The wait for the first Grand Tour of 2020 will be over on Saturday with the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Nice.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the start of the race to be pushed back from June, the Tour will have stages in September for the first time in history.

Egan Bernal will attempt to defend his title and will do so against a field including no other riders to finish in the yellow jersey, as Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Vincenzo Nibali focus their attentions elsewhere.

With the help of Opta, we look at some of the best stats around this year's Tour.

Parcours

A total of 3,470 kilometres will be covered across 21 stages – eight of which will be in the mountains. The 36km for time trials this year are the fewest in the 21st century, and they all come on one stage. It will be the penultimate day of the race, starting in Lure and ending at La Planche des Belles Filles, which will host a stage finish for the fifth time. The Grand Depart will take place in Nice for just the second time, with the previous occasion being in 1981.

Home hopes

There has not been a French winner of the Tour since Bernard Hinault in 1985, but riders from the host country have been victorious in at least one stage in 104 of the 106 editions of the race – they only failed in 1926 and 1999. They have enjoyed more success in becoming King of the Mountains, doing so 23 times – more than any other nationality – and in three straight years since 2017. Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot are the only active French riders to have finished on the Tour podium, but the latter has abandoned the race in each of his previous three appearances.

Colombian contenders

Two-time runner-up Nairo Quintana will take part in the Tour for the seventh time and will be aiming to become the eighth rider to win all three Grand Tours, after Jacques Anquetil, Alberto Contador, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Mercx, Hinault, Nibali and Froome. The first South American to win the race was Bernal in 2019 and he will be looking to become the first non-European to win in successive years since Greg LeMond in 1989 and 1990. Mikel Landa, who will spearhead Bahrain-McLaren's push for the yellow jersey, has finished in the top 10 in his past four Grand Tour appearances, while Peter Sagan will aim to win the points classification for a record eighth time.

General classification challengers

Tom Dumoulin has finished in the top two in his previous three Grand Tour appearances (2017 Giro: 1st, 2018 Giro: 2nd, 2018 Tour: 2nd) but has not finished one since the Tour two years ago. Despite a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine, Primoz Roglic is one of the most consistent riders in the field having not finished outside the top four in any of the 11 stage races he has finished since April 2018, winning eight of them.

Squad goals

Team INEOS have seen one of their riders win the Tour seven times, more than any non-French team in the history of the race; all of their triumphs have come in the past eight years. Movistar have topped the team standings in four of the past five editions, but their last GC winner was Oscar Pereiro in 2006 (following Floyd Landis' disqualification).

In a year when a host of huge sporting events have been scrapped from the schedule, the Tour de France has remained on the calendar, albeit shunted to a later date.

It represents the kind of reluctance to surrender that is so common among the riders who compete in what is arguably sport's most gruelling event.

After a long wait, the most famous event on two wheels will begin on Saturday and cycling fans from across the planet will be tuning in.

But what about those who are not usually inclined to take in this annual parade of lean men riding expensive bikes in even more eye-wateringly garish lycra?

Well, there ought to be something in it even for the most cynical observer because, put simply, there is nothing else quite like it.

WHY SHOULD I WATCH IT?

Cycling may not be 'your thing', but the Tour de France is about so much more. It's a colossal feat of human endeavour, which this year will feature 176 men representing 22 teams taking on a challenge like no other. There will be blood, sweat and, in all likelihood, tears. And it's remarkably tactical to boot, while arcane unwritten rules of the road determine the actions of the peloton. And if you've never seen a bunch sprint before, you're in for a treat.

OKAY, WHEN IS IT?

The action begins on August 29 and runs all the way until September 20, with just two days in that three-week ordeal for the riders to rest their weary legs.

I GUESS THIS IS AN EASY ONE, BUT WHERE IS IT?

The answer to this would not normally be quite so obvious, but this year's Tour de France does in fact take place exclusively in France. The start, known as the Grand Depart, is in Nice and, as ever, the whole thing will end with a procession down the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

RIGHT, AND WHO IS GOING TO WIN?

The Tour has been dominated by Team Sky, now Team INEOS, for the best part of a decade. Indeed, they have won seven of the past eight editions. However, four-time winner Chris Froome and 2018 victor Geraint Thomas will not feature this year. Reigning champion Egan Bernal will be there, though, and the Colombian will be among the favourites, with Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic shaping as his closest rival despite an injury scare this month.

INTRIGUING. ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

There is so much more, but the best way to learn about this historic and frankly peerless sporting spectacle is to watch it. With the peloton covering 3,470 kilometres across 21 stages, there is plenty of time for you to check it out. Even when the race is lacking in drama, the scenery – particularly in the numerous mountain stages – is simply glorious.  

Tour de France favourite Primoz Roglic insists he is "feeling fine" ahead of the rescheduled event, which has been given the green light to begin on Saturday.

Roglic had been in supreme form prior to a heavy fall at the Criterium du Dauphine on August 15 that left his participation in cycling's biggest event hanging in the balance.

However, the Vuelta champion - who has ex-Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin in support on the Jumbo-Visma team - has made a full recovery and will rival last year's winner Egan Bernal for the yellow jersey 

"I feel fine. I'm here at the Tour start now, so that's good news," the Jumbo-Visma rider said at a news conference on Thursday. 

"It's been a different plan - we didn't expect this complicated start with the crash and it took some time to restart and do the things I wanted to but in the last days I managed it."

The event is going ahead nearly two months later than usual owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

It starts in Nice this weekend before crisscrossing France over the next few weeks.

Doubts had been raised over whether the Tour will even start, never mind make it all the way to Paris on September 20, with COVID-19 continuing to spread across the country.

But, speaking on Thursday, France's Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer insisted the competition is "a sign that we can continue to live, and the resilience of our society."

That could yet change, though, with the Lotto-Soudal team announcing two days before the start date that two of their support staff had tested "non-negative" for coronavirus.

And Dumoulin, who was runner-up in his last Tour appearance, admits it is a case of taking the race on a day-by-day basis.

"At the moment it doesn't look good with some of the numbers around Nice and France but at the moment we are just in our own bubble," the Dutchman said.

"We don't have a strategic plan to be in the lead in case the race stops after one and a half weeks.

"The winner after one and a half weeks isn't the real winner of the Tour de France. That's not a Tour de France, that's a 10-day race. 

"It's a completely different race. We're preparing for a Grand Tour and we want to win the Tour de France."

This year's Tour could be the most open in a long time, with Team INEOS rider Bernal considered by some the man to beat after becoming the youngest winner of the yellow jersey in over a century when he triumphed last year.

Former winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have been left behind but Bernal looks in good stead, even if he pulled out of the Dauphine early because of a back issue.

Elsewhere, Thibaut Pinot of Team Groupama is France's best hope of a first winner in 34 years and is determined to make the most of a favourable route.

"Last year was a huge disappointment but I will get over it," he said of the thigh injury that curtailed his 2019 Tour. 

"I've realised that I could aim extremely high. That was the worst disappointment of my career. 

"I had the best form I've ever had in my career. To lose all of that in an instant was too much to bear."

Dave Brailsford is backing Chris Froome to show his "remarkable" mental strength and recover from injury with a Vuelta a Espana challenge as he explained the decision to leave two of Team INEOS' top performers out of their Tour de France line-up.

INEOS last week named their Tour team but found no room for either Froome or Geraint Thomas, who have five general classification titles between them.

The hugely successful British outfit are instead again relying on Egan Bernal, the 2019 champion, as Froome and Thomas target the Vuelta and Giro d'Italia respectively.

Froome, 35, only returned to competitive racing in February after a horrific crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine left him with multiple serious injuries. He will join Israel Start-Up Nation next year.

Speaking at the team's season launch, INEOS general manager Brailsford outlined exactly why Froome and Thomas had been held back.

"They're both big champions," Brailsford said of the pair.

"Chris is obviously coming back from his accident. He's won more than anybody else in this current generation. He's a legend of the sport.

"But with a cycling team, the cycling season is spread over the Grand Tours, it's not all about one race. We look at our riders and see who's the best suited to go for the big races.

"We've decided for Geraint to focus on the tour of Italy, a very important race for us. To try to double up on the back of his Tour win and try to win the tour of Italy, that would be amazing.

"For Chris, he has a little bit longer to get back from his injury and then focus on the tour of Spain. He's won it before and he's on his way back.

"You've got to admire his tenacity and his mental strength to come back to where he has. It's remarkable. I'm sure he can get back to that level and challenge for the tour of Spain."

The Tour is going ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, yet Bernal is confident the riders' competitive spirit will not be impacted by the crisis.

"I think the race will be the same," Bernal said. "With or without COVID, we will go full gas.

"The racing will be the same, but when we arrive in the hotel or at the start or the finish, it will be different. We will miss the people. Fortunately, they can see on the TV."

Mark Cavendish will miss a second successive Tour de France, but this time there were no complaints about being excluded from his team's plans.

The British rider last year said he was "heartbroken" at being left out by Team Dimension Data, convinced he had recovered from illness and was in prime shape to compete.

Having switched allegiance since to Bahrain-McLaren, Cavendish must again watch from a distance as the world's most prestigious Grand Tour takes place without him.

The Bahrain-McLaren team are structuring their plans around a yellow jersey push for Mikel Landa, and there was no room for Cavendish in the eight-rider line-up that was unveiled on Friday.

Cavendish ranks second only to the great Belgian Eddy Merckx (34) among riders with the most stage wins in the race, having triumphed 30 times, and it remains to be seen whether the 35-year-old gets a future shot at the Tour.

He is optimistic about his prospects for 2021, saying it promises to be "a big year".

In a video message responding to his omission, Cavendish said that "some people are going to be happy about that, some people are going to be disappointed".

Cavendish, a former points classification winner in the Tour, added: "Simply put, I just don't feel I'm ready this year for the Tour de France.

"It's the hardest parcours I've seen in my entire career and I'm a rider who needs a lot of racing to get going and I just haven't had that this year, with COVID-19.

"We do have an incredible GC [general classification] contender with Mikel Landa and an incredibly strong team to support.

"I'm looking forward. I'm super excited for the rest of the year. We've got some good goals, good races lined up, and I'm looking forward to using it to build into a big year next year."

The delayed Tour gets under way in Nice on August 29, having been postponed from its intended June 27 start date because of the pandemic.

Chris Froome feels the Vuelta a Espana represents a more realistic target for him in 2020, though concedes missing out on the Tour de France will be a "readjustment".

Team INEOS announced on Wednesday that four-time Tour de France winner Froome and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas had not been included in their squad for the first Grand Tour of the year, which will begin on August 29.

Froome, who will move to Israel Start-Up Nation next year, will instead target the Vuelta as Thomas leads INEOS' charge at the Giro d'Italia.

Reigning Tour champion Egan Bernal will spearhead the team's hunt for an eighth title in nine years and will be supported by debutant Richard Carapaz, who won the Giro last year.

The decision ends speculation over how INEOS would approach the Tour with a star-studded list of options.

Froome, 35, only returned to competitive racing in February after a horrific crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine left him with multiple serious injuries.

While he will now have to wait until 2021 for his next chance to win a record-equalling fifth Tour, the Briton accepted his ongoing recovery meant the Vuelta option made sense.

"It's definitely a readjustment for me, moving the goalposts from the Tour de France to the Vuelta," said Froome.

"But I think, given where I've come from through the last year, I've had an incredible recovery from the big crash I had last year.

"I'm in a very fortunate position to be back racing now, but I'm not confident that I can really fulfil the necessary job that would be needed for me at this year's Tour de France.

"I think it's a lot more realistic targeting the Vuelta and gives me the chance to really get stuck into something that is deliverable.

"At the end of the day, people have to remember that I'm coming back from a horrendous crash last year where I fractured a lot of bones in my body. I'm still coming back to that full level of fitness at the moment."

All three Grand Tours will take place in quick succession after the coronavirus pandemic caused scheduling changes to the professional cycling calendar.

The Tour is scheduled to end on September 20, with the Giro taking place from October 3-25 and a shortened Vuelta scheduled for October 20-November 8.

Thomas will now look to join an elite group who have won different grand tours.

"It's nice to finally have a firm plan in place and to know exactly what I'm doing and try and get some kind of positive out of this year," he said.

"I've always enjoyed racing there - I love Italy, the fans and the food, obviously. It's a race I've always enjoyed anyway, so I'm certainly looking forward to going back and that is the plan now."

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have been left out of Team INEOS' line-up for the 2020 Tour de France, it has been announced.

Four-time champion Froome and 2018 winner Thomas were not included in the eight-man line-up for the first Grand Tour of the year, which will begin on August 29.

Froome, who will move to Israel Start-Up Nation next year, will target the Vuelta a Espana and Thomas will lead INEOS' charge at the Giro d'Italia.

Reigning Tour champion Egan Bernal will spearhead the team's hunt for an eighth title in nine years and will be supported by debutant Richard Carapaz, who won the Giro last year.

Froome only returned to competitive racing in February after a horrific crash at the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine left him with multiple serious injuries.

He will now have to wait until 2021 for his next chance to win a record-equalling fifth Tour.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "I am very proud that we have several current, and I am sure future, Grand Tour champions in the team.

"Selecting the right leader in the right race with the right support team is critical and has meant we have had to analyse all the latest information to make sure we are in the best position possible to optimise our performances in the coming months. 

"Egan will once again target the yellow jersey in France and we are very excited to give last year's Giro winner, Richard Carapaz, his debut in this year's Tour also.

"Geraint will target the Giro and take on the opportunity to double up his Tour de France win with another Grand Tour title, with the aim of being the first Welshman to win it. 

"In turn, Chris Froome will target the Vuelta. Chris is a legend of our sport, a true champion who has demonstrated incredible grit and determination to come back from his crash last year.

"We want to support him to compete for another Grand Tour title and the Vuelta gives him that little bit more time to continue his progress to the top level."

Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas have been left out of Team INEOS' line-up for the 2020 Tour de France, it has been announced.

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