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Froome: Giro d'Italia route is 'perfect' for Geraint Thomas

Joe Robinson
1 Feb 2019

Speculation surrounding Thomas' Giro participation continue as Froome backs Bernal in Italy

Chris Froome has labelled the 2019 Giro d'Italia course as 'perfect' for Tour de France champion and Team Sky teammate Geraint Thomas. Froome has also tipped young teammate Egan Bernal as a potential Giro winner this year at the first time of asking.

Froome is the current defending champion of the Italian Grand Tour but will skip his title defence in order to focus on the Tour de France in the summer, aiming for a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey.

Thomas has also marked his intentions to return to the Tour in 2019 but speculation has surrounded whether this will be with General Classification hopes.

Instead, rumours have circulated that the Welshman may instead target the Giro in May and then race the Tour as a domestique for Froome. Even the Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford recently stated that the decision regarding Thomas' Giro participation was yet to be decided.

The pot has now been stirred once again as Froome labelled the Giro route as 'perfect' for his teammate.

Geraint has a score to settle after the incident that cost him the maglia rosa two years ago. And the route is perfect for him.' Froome told Corriere della Sport.

He did concede that idea of a joint leadership at the race would not be an issue, stating 'we always ride for the team', but did comment on the importance of cementing his legacy with a record-equalling fifth yellow jersey, an accolade only managed by four riders before him. 

'I’ve won four and I'm at the right age to leave a legacy. Winning a fifth would be the best way to close the circle.' said Froome

While the six-time Grand Tour winner attempts to cement his legacy, his 22-year-old Colombian teammate Egan Bernal looks to begin his own. 

Touted as the 'next big thing' in General Classification riding, Bernal will head to the Giro in May aiming for the pink jersey, something Froome believes is firmly within his capabilities. 

'When you speak with Egan you struggle to believe he's so young. He has an incredible maturity and ability to read the race. For me, he can win at the first attempt.' said Froome.

Bernal and Froome are currently training with each other in Colombia ahead of the Tour of Colombia that begins on 12th February. Following that, Froome will head to the UAE Tour, Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Yorkshire and Criterium du Dauphine before tapering towards the Tour de France.

Thomas, on the other hand, starts his season next week at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana before heading to the Volta ao Algarve, Tirreno-Adriatico and some of the Ardennes Classics. 

Officially, he is then scheduled to race the Tour de Suisse before heading to the Tour but this could change if he does head to the Giro d'Italia.

The Welshman rode the Giro d'Italia in 2017 with aspirations on GC but was forced to abandon after a crash on Stage 9 to Blockhaus.