Thomas, Bernal joint leaders of Team INEOS at Tour de France

Geraint Thomas in the yellow jersey alongside former Team Sky and current Team Ineos team-mate Egan Bernal at the 2018 Tour de France. Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Britain's Geraint Thomas and Colombia's Egan Bernal will be joint leaders of Team INEOS at the 2019 Tour de France.

Reigning Tour de France champion Thomas, 33, will co-lead with Bernal -- who will be competing in just his second Tour de France.

Dylan van Baarle is the only new rider to the team for this year's race, with Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels and Luke Rowe all returning.

"Discussing with the team, we believe it makes sense to go into the race with joint leaders as it gives us more options," Thomas said in a statement. "We've got a really exciting blend of youth and experience in the team."

"After the success of last year, we have decided to come into the race with joint leaders," team principal Sir Dave Brailsford said, adding. "Whilst our preparation hasn't been straightforward following Chris Froome's recent crash, we will be at the start line with a really strong team that is hungry to win again."

Former tour winner Chris Froome will miss this year's Tour de France after he was hospitalized following a bad crash in training. Froome broke his right femur, elbow and several ribs and spent time in intensive care, having undergone surgery for several hours.

This year's race marks the first for Team INEOS, formerly Team Sky, after the prominent UK media company didn't renew their sponsorship of the team.

The 21-stage Tour de France begins in Brussels on July 6.