2021 SEASON OVERVIEW
The INEOS Grenadiers began the 2021 season with arguably their strongest ever line-up that included a raft of stage-racing talent such as Egan Bernal, Richard Carapaz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Filippo Ganna, Gianni Moscon and Geraint Thomas. Exciting prospects bolstered the all-star cast such as Tom Pidcock and Ethan Hayter.
There were plenty of stage wins and overall wins that demonstrated the depth of the Grenadiers’ roster. Ivan Sosa took the first overall win of the season back in February in the Tour de la Provence followed by Adam Yates the following month who led a brilliant sweep of the Volta a Catalunya podium with Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas.
Next up, Geraint Thomas recovered quickly to take the overall win in the Tour de Romandie a day after crashing inside the final 50 metres of the previous day’s mountain stage to Thyon. It was a pleasing win for him and the team, particularly as the crash had cost him the chance to move into the yellow jersey.
At the end of May came one of the biggest victories of the season. Egan Bernal’s prior back issues appeared to be behind him as he retained the pink jersey and claimed overall victory in the Giro d’Italia. It was the team’s second consecutive Maglia Rosa after Tao Geoghegan Hart's win last October.
It was an exceptional team win enabled in part by Filippo Ganna’s significant Time Trial heroics at Stage 1 and Stage 21. Despite a puncture that threatened to derail his and the team’s chances of an overall victory, Ganna celebrated winning his record fifth TT in the Giro.
The following month, Richie Porte gave his homeland something to celebrate as he became the first Australian in 36 years to win the Criterium du Dauphine. The two-time runner-up took victory after a 147-kilometre final stage through the Haute-Savoie Alps to Les Getts. Geraint Thomas managed to recover from another fall to provide vital support and come in third.
A week later, on June 13, after being left with only one teammate three kilometres before the top of the final climb of the exciting 160K final stage, Richard Carapaz took the overall win in the Tour de Suisse. He then went on to secure the team’s second Grand Tour podium of the season, and his third in three years, at the Tour de France. The wily Ecuadorian appeared to be really struggling towards the end, but it was clearly a ruse and he had the reserves to finish strong and take third place overall.
After multiple stage wins throughout the season, one of the team’s youngest riders, Ethan Hayter, got hot and won the Tour of Norway two weeks after his silver medal in Tokyo. He also finished second at the Tour of Britain, and with several one-day races in Italy and France still to go before the 2021 season’s out, the grenadiers will no doubt add to their win tally.
SEASON VICTORIES BY THE NUMBERS
One-day races 3
Stage race overall 7
Stage race stages 23
Grand Tours 1
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