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Turmoil at Team Ineos could shake up Tour De France

Chris Froome is departing the biggest spending team in the sport at the end of the season. With three of the top five favorites for the Tour De France, this could create some chaos.

Jonathan Castroviejo of Spain and Team INEOS, Egan Bernal of Colombia and Team INEOS, and Yellow Leader Jersey Chris Froome of United Kingdom and Team INEOS ride together during the 7th Tour de France Saitama Criterium in Saitama, Japan. Photo by Christopher Jue/Getty Images

The Tour De France was postponed earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is now set to run August 29 through September 20. The Tour will include a variety of social distancing measures, but it remains on track to start at the end of August.

Pandemic aside, additional drama has developed within the most prominent team in the race. A week ago, Team Ineos announced that four-time Tour winner Chris Froome is leaving the team at the end of the current season.

Froome was reportedly frustrated with his role on Team Ineos, with talk of the team transitioning to younger cyclists. He will be joining Israel Start-Up Nation next season and race with them for the remainder of his cycling career.

Some cycling insiders think this could open up this year’s Tour due to problems within Team Ineos. Nobody spends more than them, and they’ve got as deep a team of cyclists as you’ll find. Looking at DraftKings Sportsbook’s current Tour De France odds, three of the top five cyclists are on Team Ineos. Egan Bernal is the favorite at +250, Froome is next at +450, and Geraint Thomas is fifth at +900.

It’s entirely possible the team remains professional and works together to secure victory for one of their riders. But egos could be bruised by what’s going on behind the scenes, and maybe we don’t see the teamwork necessary to win the grueling Tour De France. We really won’t know until the race gets started, but this is a wrinkle many of us did not expect.