Sir Dave Brailsford has expressed delight with how Ineos Grenadiers managed Egan Bernal’s Giro d’Italia victory, and said it is unlikely the Colombian would look to double up in the Tour de France.
Bernal limited his losses on the final time trial to secure Giro glory, his second Grand Tour success after the Tour de France of 2019.
Bernal came into the Giro with doubts about his well-being on account of a back injury that ruined the defence of the Tour de France last year.
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However, he showed strength early in the race and stamped his class on the Giro when taking his first stage of a Grand Tour by powering to victory on the first mountain finish. Victory at Campo Felice took Bernal into the pink jersey and he held it for the remainder of the race.
Brailsford was thrilled with the team effort throughout the race - and levelled special praise at the door of final time trial winner Filippo Ganna for how he took the race to Bernal’s rivals on the gravel roads of Tuscany.
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“I am absolutely delighted with the way the race panned out,” Brailsford told Eurosport. “Egan went aggressive to start and the critical stage in Tuscany where Filippo [Ganna] drove into the gravel was just amazing."
On only one occasion did Bernal show weakness, when Simon Yates attacked him after the second rest day. The Colombian lost the best part of a minute after being helped up the final climb by Daniel Martinez, to suggest he could be vulnerable in the final couple of days.
He was challenged by the likes of Damiano Caruso and Yates, but with the help of his impressive team-mates Bernal was able to hold on for his second Grand Tour success.
“What I liked was after the second rest day, it was all a question of can we stay calm in our minds and strategise and not get caught in that impulsive ‘go with the opposition’ and manage our resources and they did that to beautify. I am so proud of them.
There is always a moment when the winner of a grand tour suffers. It is how you manage it that’s important. If you respond too much, you go downhill. You have got to stay calm.
“Logically, when Caruso went we knew that if we managed the chase and stayed together as a group they would manage the situation. But to do that as a young guy, when the second guy is going up the road, takes some real maturity.”
When asked if Bernal would be parachuted into the Tour team, Brailsford said: “I doubt it, to be honest.
“At the minute we have our team. They are riding at the [Criterium de] Dauphine and we will sit down and discuss the situation after the Dauphine and choose a team.”
Ineos, formerly Team Sky, have had accusations of taking the fun out of cycling with the way they have strangled the life out of races levelled at them, but Brailsford feels a different mindset has reinvigorated the team.
“We want to enjoy racing, putting smiles back on people's faces,” he said. “We have tough moments, but we love racing and that effervescence of it all is paying dividends.
“We are loving it, loving life.”
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