06 July 2020

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal insists team-mate and four-time winner Chris Froome ‘was not upset’ over leadership comments

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal insists Chris Froome was not angry at him for his comments regarding Team Ineos’ leadership complex.

Bernal became the youngest Tour winner in over 100 years when he clinched the three-week stage race in 2019.

From left to right, Bernal, Thomas and Froome have all won the Tour de France (PA Images)

And the youngster stated in an interview back in May that he would not ‘throw away another opportunity to win another Tour de France’ in order to help one of his teammates.

This led many to believe the 23-year-old Colombian sees himself as the leader of the team ahead of four-time Tour winner Chris Froome and 2018 champion Geraint Thomas.

But Bernal has reassured cycling fans that there is no friction between the three Ineos riders.

Speaking about Froome’s reaction to his comments, he told El Tiempo: "He wasn't [upset]. What happened was that we spoke at the time.

"Froome's statements came out and people took it as if he was angry at me, but he wasn't. He never got mad at me for what I said.

"We're friends and we all want to go forward, to win. Here, the most important thing is that the team wins – we're Ineos and the one that has to win is Ineos.

"Chris, Geraint and I are very honest with each other. When we see that one is better, then that will help. You can't say 'I'm the leader' – if I have to work for Froome I'll do it; if he has to give himself up for me, I'm sure he will, and so will Geraint."

The 2020 edition of the Tour has been pushed back by two months due to the coronavirus pandemic and will now begin on August 29 and finish in Paris on September 20.

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