Tour de France: Bernal and Thomas as co-leaders 'worked to perfection' - Brailsford

Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas celebrate as they approach the finishing line at the end of Saturday's penultimate stage of the 2029 Tour de France
Egan Bernal (left) is riding in only his second Grand Tour

Having Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas as joint leaders of Team Ineos has "worked to perfection" at the Tour de France, says boss Sir Dave Brailsford.

Bernal is poised to become the first Colombian to win the race, while defending champion Thomas is set to finish second after the processional run into Paris on Sunday.

"You can't get better than second and first," Brailsford said.

"In the end it was all about the team winning."

With four-time winner Chris Froome absent after fracturing his femur, elbow and ribs in a high-speed crash in June, Bernal who finished 15th at the Tour in 2018, was promoted alongside Thomas in only his third year as a professional.

And the Colombian, who acted as a domestique 12 months ago, belied his lack of experience to excel on a route that favoured his prowess in the mountains.

A strong performance on the Tourmalet in the Pyrenees, where Welshman Thomas faltered, underlined his credentials as a potential race winner before he claimed the yellow jersey with a superb attack on the Iseran in the Alps.

"A lot of people may have questioned having two leaders, were we hedging our bets and whether it was going to work. It's worked to perfection," Brailsford added.

"We knew we had a group of older guys who were performing well, but we looked very hard to find the new generation and decided that it was going to be Egan.

"We fought pretty hard to get him and he developed fantastically well. The advice that Geraint [Thomas] has given [Bernal], he knows what he's doing, he's generous with his advice and a generous person in that regard."

Despite enjoying unrivalled success as Team Sky - winning six of the last seven races - Brailsford says this year's triumph has arrived in the "most exciting" edition of La Grande Boucle that he has taken part in.

"Credit to Julian Alaphilippe as he died for that [yellow] jersey every stage and he made a lot of people second guess what they thought they knew, and I think [Thibaut] Pinot did the same in the Pyrenees.

"He was aggressive, he was brave and he took the race to us."


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