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Youngster Egan Bernal Being Backed for Success This Summer

Egan Bernal has spent the last 12 months slowly beginning to make a name for himself, and the talented rider looks likely to have co-leadership with 2018 champion Geraint Thomas for Team Ineos at this year's Tour de France. The young Colombian will be taking the place of Chris Froome, who sadly isn't fit enough to challenge for a fifth Tour victory.

The 22-year has certainly impressed in 2019, and the all-rounder has been tipped for success by a number of pundits. He is currently the 9/4 favourite, and is fractionally ahead of his team-mate Geraint Thomas in Paddy Power's Tour de France's betting market, with Adam Yates, Nairo Quintana and Richie Porte also amongst the frontrunners. The latest odds, which can be found at https://www.paddypower.com/cycling/tour-de-france-2019, have changed significantly since Egan Bernal's victory in the Tour de Suisse, and many punters will be hoping he can replicate that success this month. The annual road race, which typically takes place in mid-June is considered to be a proving ground for the Tour de France, and Bernal's victory in Switzerland was particularly eye-catching.

Former team coach Androni Giocattoli told the media that "an Egan Bernal only comes along every twenty years", and fans are rightly excited about his future in the sport.

Despite crashing out of the aforementioned Tour de Suisse, defending champion Geraint Thomas has been given the all-clear for the Grand Depart in Brussels. The Welshman recently told the Guardian that his fall would not affect his chances of retaining his title, and during the interview, which is available at https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/jun/29/geraint-thomas-tour-de-france-defence, he spoke about the importance of working as a team in France.

Bernal has also suffered injuries himself this season, and was unable to take part in the Giro d'Italia earlier in the year due to a broken collarbone. He appears to have sufficiently recovered, and showed no ill-effects of his training accident when cruising to victory in Switzerland.

The Colombian will take the place of Chris Froome, and admitted to Cycling News (https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/egan-bernal-froome-team-skys-leader-im-always-learning-something-new-) that he's always learning something new from his much-travelled team-mate. The pair joined forces earlier this year at the Volta a Catalunya, and also rode together in Bernal's homeland in February.

The fact that Bernal will co-lead alongside the Welshman does give him a superb chance of securing the yellow jersey, and it's unsurprising to see him being tipped for success in 2019. He will have full freedom of the road during the early stages, although he is unlikely to pull Geraint Thomas back into contention should he be struggling on any of the climbs. The pair will have a completely different dynamic to the Froome-Thomas partnership, but despite this, the duo will be hoping for a very similar outcome. Neither of the pair appear to be particularly egotistical, and that bodes well for their relationship, especially when things start to get tough.

Their first real test is likely to come at the end of Stage Six on La Planche des Belles Filles which features a 7km ascent at 8.7%, and is the first mountainous stage of the tour. Chris Froome was successful during this section in 2012, but without his expertise, a more tactical approach will be required.

Egan Bernal is the name on many fans' lips, and his recent success has seen a flurry of bets being placed on the young Colombian. Team Ineos are feeling fairly confident about their chances in the 2019 Tour de France, and the 22-year old could pick up his first yellow jersey in the iconic La Grande Boucle later this month.