Team Sky has still to formally reveal their Grand Tour leaders for 2019. A decision was expected to be made during the team’s December training camp but no announcement was made, with riders only able to talk about their hopes and ambitions rather than concrete race plans. The camp was overshadowed by the news that team owner and title sponsor Sky was ending its backing of the British WorldTour team.
Thomas has made it clear that he wants to defend his 2018 Tour de France victory but also hinted at a return to the Giro d’Italia, while Froome has also set his sights on a record-equaling fifth Tour de France win in 2019 despite winning the 2018 Corsa Rosa.
Bernal made his Tour de France debut this year, finishing an impressive 15th overall after helping Froome and Thomas in the mountains. Bernal also won the Tour of California in 2018 and was second overall at the Tour de Romandie.
According to reports by Colombian news channel News Caracol, Bernal likes the 2019 Tour de France route but is happy to go where Team Sky send him. He was spotted riding the route of the opening time trial stage of the Giro d’Italia in Bologna before the Giro dell’Emilia in September and is expected to lead Team Sky in the Italian Grand Tour alongside Gianni Moscon.
“I’ve spoken to the team a bit but nothing is really certain,” he is reported as saying by News Caracol in Colombia.
“I like the Tour de France very much. It excites me but Chris (Froome) and (Geraint) Thomas are going there, so maybe the Giro d’Italia is a good option for me. I’ll go where the team sends me.”
Bernal spent December at Team Sky’s training camp before heading home. He will make his 2019 debut at the Colombia 2.1 stage race in February alongside Froome and new teammate and fellow Colombian Ivan Sosa. He won the Colombia Oro y Paz stage race in February and is looking forward to riding the renamed race again this year.
“It’s very good to do this type of race here, and it’s great that the guys from Colombia have the opportunity to race with a cyclist like Froome,” he is reported as saying.
“To have as rider who has won so much in our country is something very cool. The organisers have done well and so we have to take advantage of it.”