Thomas and Bernal to lead Team INEOS in Froome's absence

Egan Bernal will join defending champion Geraint Thomas as a Team INEOS co-leader at the Tour de France after Chris Froome was ruled out.

Team INEOS announced their Tour line-up on Friday, with four-time general classification winner Froome absent due to fractures to his right femur, elbow and ribs sustained at the Criterium du Dauphine.

But Welshman Thomas was fit to be named in the team, having recovered from his own crash at the Tour de Suisse, while Colombian Bernal is also back on the Grand Tour stage.

Bernal had been absent with a broken collarbone for the Giro d'Italia, which Froome and Thomas chose to sit out.

Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle join Thomas and Bernal for the Tour, which starts on July 6 in Brussels.

Thomas said: "Winning the Tour de France last year was the highlight of my professional cycling career and racing with the number one on my back is going to be special this year.

"The memories of 2018 will remain with me forever, but now I'm ready to create more with the team this year.

"It's no secret my build-up has been affected by the crash at Tour de Suisse, but I've had a good block of training since and I feel ready.

"Discussing with the team, we believe it makes sense to go into the race with joint leaders as it gives us more options. Egan and I will work hard for each other and the team over the three weeks of the race."

Elsewhere, Trek-Segafredo confirmed their team with Richie Porte leading the way. Julien Bernard, Giulio Ciccone, Koen de Kort, Fabio Felline,  Bauke Mollema, Toms Skujins and Jasper Stuyven were also selected.

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