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Blank-page book on Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro goes viral
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Blank-page book on Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro goes viral

A 190-page book on why Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro "should be respected and trusted" has gone viral on social media after it emerged 188 of its pages are blank.

The author said it was a "protest" to force people to "come up with their own answers" on the controversial leader.

In a few hours more than 200 reviews were posted on the book's Amazon page.

Most of them praised the initiative but a few said they had been misled. The author said nobody had bought the book.

After it went viral online, a warning saying "Attention: satirical book" was added to its description on Amazon and the book was listed as unavailable, O Globo newspaper reports (in Portuguese).

Mr Bolsonaro, who came to power in January, is a deeply divisive figure who has made racist, homophobic and misogynistic remarks. In recent weeks, he has been internationally criticised for the increasing deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.

The president, a former army captain and congressman, has not commented on the book.

Bolsonaro: Brazil's unlikely president
Is the honeymoon period over for Bolsonaro?

The author, 30-year-old Willyam Thums from the southern city of Porto Alegre, described the book Why does Bolsonaro deserve respect and trust? as an "answer to the question that hasn't silenced Brazil".

"It's a protest," he told Veja São Paulo website (in Portuguese). "The idea is to not give any answer as I think Bolsonaro doesn't deserve anything."

On the two pages where there is text, Mr Thums describes the book as the "result of countless hours of work" offering an "exclusively impartial" view about the "undeniable merits" of Mr Bolsonaro.

He said he was inspired by a similar book about US President Donald Trump.

The book had gone unnoticed until Wednesday, Mr Thums said, when it began being widely shared on social media. Most of the reviews posted on Amazon supported the initiative.

"Congratulations to the author over his hard work," said one user. Another said: "It's the best and most comprehensive analysis about the person who is changing the country."

Some, however, disagreed. One said it was "sad… that serious people were wasting time and money". Another user said the book had been bought for a doctoral research and that its description had "misled readers".

But Mr Thums – a PhD student in comparative literature in the US – disputed this. "No-one has ever bought this book."

Amazon did not comment on the case but said customers had up to 30 days to return products and ask for a refund.

Mr Bolsonaro was elected last year promising to be tough on crime and corruption and to revive the economy. But critics and even some of his supporters have expressed doubts about his ability to lRead More – Source

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Emiliano Sala ‘exposed to carbon monoxide in plane crash’
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Emiliano Sala ‘exposed to carbon monoxide in plane crash’

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Footballer Emiliano Sala was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide prior to a fatal plane crash in the English Channel, a report has revealed.

Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson, 59, crashed on 21 January while travelling from Nantes in France to Cardiff.

Toxicology tests on Sala's body showed CO levels in his blood were so great it could have caused a seizure, unconsciousness or a heart attack.

The Sala family said there should be a detailed examination of the plane.

Mr Ibbotson, from Crowle, North Lincolnshire, has still not been found.

What does the report say?
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said Sala's blood had a COHb (carboxyhaemoglobin – which forms in red blood cells upon contact with carbon monoxide) level of 58%.

At this level, symptoms would include include seizure, unconsciousness and heart attack.

It added: "A COHb level of more than 50% in an otherwise healthy person is generally considered to be potentially fatal."

It is likely Mr Ibbotson would also have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Piston engine aircraft such as the Piper Malibu involved in the crash produce high levels of carbon monoxide.

The gas is normally conveyed away from the aircraft through the exhaust system, but poor sealing or leaks into the heating and ventilation system can enable it to enter the cabin.

Several devices are available to alert pilots over the presence of carbon monoxide – they are not mandatory but can "alert pilots or passengers to a potentially deadly threat".

What will happen next?
AAIB investigators are working with aircraft manufacturers in the USA – where the Piper Malibu was registered – to look at how carbon monoxide could have entered the cabin.

"Operational, technical and human factors" will be considered.

Geraint Herbert, the AAIB's lead inspector for this investigation, said: "Symptoms at low exposure levels [to carbon monoxide] can be drowsiness and dizziness, but as the exposure level increases, it can lead to unconsciousness and death.

"The investigation continues to look into a wide range of areas in relation to this accident, but in particular we are looking at the potential ways in which carbon monoxide can enter the cabin in this type of aircraft."

Wednesday's bulletin was the second to be released following the crash, but the investigation is not expected to report its full findings until early 2020.

How has Sala's family reacted?
Daniel Machover of Hickman & Rose solicitors, who represents the family, said: "The family believe that a detailed technical examination of the plane is necessary.

"The family and the public need to know how the carbon monoxide was able to enter the cabin. Future air safety rests on knowing as much as possible on this issue."

Why hasn't the plane been recovered?
The AAIB responded to calls for the plane to be retrieved from the sea bed by saying it filmed substantial video evidence at the scene after the aircraft was found in February.

"It was not possible at the time to recover the wreckage," it said.

"We have carefully considered the feasibility and merits of returning to attempt to recover the wreckage. In this case, we consider that it will not add significantly to the investigation and we will identify the correct safety issues through other means."

The statement said after a "violent impact with the sea", the wreckage may not even give definitive answers and the reasons for not retrieving the plane had been explained in detail to both the Sala and Ibbotson families.

What has Cardiff City said?
The club said it was "concerned" by the report, adding: "We continue to believe that those who were instrumental in arranging its [the plane's] usage are held to account for this tragedy."

In an interview in February, football agent Willie McKay, who commissioned the flight, told the BBC he and his family paid for it.

He was not involved, he said, in selecting the plane or the pilot and it was not a cost-share arrangement.

How have experts interpreted the report?
Retired pilot and aviation safety commentator Terry Tozer said the finding was "a surprise", adding: "It shows you can never tell what the root cause of an accident is until the investigators have dug into the nitty gritty.

"How and why did the carbon monoxide get in? Presumably through the exhaust system… the fumes get into the ventilation system."

Mr Tozer said he had never encountered anything similar before and would not expect carbon monoxide poisoning to be a big risk on such an aircraft.

He added: "It's not like a car where you can open the windows. It can creep up on you, and that could be a slow process.

"It's odourless so you wouldn't necessarily know you were being fed these fumes unless you had a detection system – but that isn't mandatory for this type of aircraft."

Mr Tozer agreed with the Sala family that salvaging the wreckage and examining it would be the only way to find how the leak occurred.

"Aviation accidents usually come about when a number of factors accumulate.

"So, we start with the pilot and his lack of qualifications, then circumstances that delay the flight to night time, possibly feeling pressure the pilot then takes off when he shouldn't and finds weather that he is struggling with and the final straw is that his ability is impaired by poisoning from a leak in the exhaust and he loses control."

How dangerous is carbon monoxide?
By James Gallagher, health and science correspondent, BBC News

Carbon monoxide is an invisible killer with no smell, colour or taste.

It is deadly because the gas starves the body of vital oxygen.

Your red blood cells contain haemoglobin – its job is to pick up oxygen from the lungs and transport it around the body.

The problem is haemoglobin prefers carbon monoxide and binds to the gas iRead More – Source

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Brazil’s indigenous women protest against Bolsonaro policies

Hundreds of indigenous women occupied a building of Brazil's health ministry in the capital, Brasília, on Monday to protest against the policies of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

The group of some 300 protesters demanded better healthcare for indigenous people, especially women, and condemned proposed changes to how these services are delivered.

The Bolsonaro government wants to make towns and cities responsible for providing medical services to indigenous people, and community leaders fear local authorities lack the infrastructure and specialised units required.

The federal government is currently in charge of healthcare, and indigenous communities are visited by specially trained professionals.

The protesters, who are in the city for the first March of Indigenous Women, sang and danced inside and outside the building of the Special Secretariat of Indigenous Health, known as Sesai.

"We've been left abandoned. They treat indigenous people like animals," 43-year-old Teresa Cristina Kezonazokere told Correio Braziliense newspaper (in Portuguese).

The demonstration ended almost 10 hours later, when Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said he would talk to some of their leaders. There were no reports of violence.

Organisers say the event in Brasília aims to highlight the role of women in indigenous communities. On Wednesday, some 1,500 indigenous women from 110 ethnic groups are expected to join a protest to defend rights they say are under threat under Mr Bolsonaro.

"We don't have to accept the destruction of our rights," said indigenous leader Sônia Guajajara.

'We fight for the right to exist'

The president has promised to integrate indigenous people into the rest of the population and repeatedly questioned the existence of their protected reserves, which are rights guaranteed in the country's constitution.

Mr Bolsonaro, who supports policies that favour development over conservation, says the indigenous territories are too big in relation to the number of people who live there and has promised to open some of them to agriculture and mining.

Brazil's unlikely president
'Football pitch' of Amazon forest lost every minute

More than 800,000 indigenous people live in 450 demarcated indigenous territories across Brazil – which cover about 12% of land. Most are located in the Amazon region and some people live totally isolated.

Critics say Mr Bolsonaro's positions have eRead More – Source

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Brazil prosecutors move to ban Bolsonaro’s son from ambassador job
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Brazil prosecutors move to ban Bolsonaro’s son from ambassador job

Brazilian prosecutors have moved to ban President Jair Bolsanaro's son from becoming ambassador to the US.

The public prosecutor's office filed an injunction on Monday asking a federal court to rule on the experience needed for anyone to serve as a diplomat.

Opposition lawmakers have also asked the Supreme Court to block the appointment, calling it nepotism.

It comes days after Mr Bolsonaro said US President Donald Trump had approved the appointment of his son, Eduardo.

However, the nomination still requires approval from Brazil's Senate.

According to Brazilian magazine Epoca, prosecutors asked a court in Brasilia to rule on the "merits and services" required for any non-diplomats serving as ambassadors.

The prosecutors added that there would be "danger of harm if a person is nominated without adequate preparation".

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Eduardo Bolsonaro, 35, is a congressman who heads the foreign affairs committee in the lower house.

He has no previous diplomatic experience, but has been dubbed Brazil's "shadow foreign minister" because of the strong influence he has on his father's foreign policy, BBC Americas editor Candace Piette reports.

Earlier this year, he joined his father in a private meeting with US President Trump during a diplomatic trip to Washington.

Both the president and his son have a pro-US stance, breaking with Brazil's traditionally more cautious position. Eduardo is openly pro-Israeli, whereas in the past Brazil has been careful not to offend Arab nations.

President Bolsonaro has defended Eduardo's nomination as ambassador, saying his son is a friend of the Trump family, which would help strengthen ties between the two countries.

Last week, the Brazilian president said he had received a handwrittenRead More – Source

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Jair Bolsonaro: ‘Poop every other day’ to protect the environment
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Jair Bolsonaro: ‘Poop every other day’ to protect the environment

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has suggested people should "poop every other day" as a way to save the planet.

His comment came in answer to a journalist who asked him how to combine agricultural development and protecting the environment.

Mr Bolsonaro recently came under fire after official data showed an increase in deforestation in the Amazon.

He then sacked the head of the agency that reported the increase, accusing it of lying about the problem's scale.

Mr Bolsonaro's comment came after the journalist quoted reports saying deforestation and agriculture were responsible for a quarter of the planet's greenhouse effect.

"It's enough to eat a little less. You talk about environmental pollution. It's enough to poop every other day. That will be better for the whole world," he said.

Scientists say the Amazon has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since Mr Bolsonaro took office in January, with policies that favour development over conservation.

Brazil's space agency data showed an 88% increase in deforestation in June compared with the same month a year ago.

As the largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.

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Read More – Source

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Tour de France champion Egan Bernal given hero’s welcome in Colombia
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Tour de France champion Egan Bernal given hero’s welcome in Colombia

The Colombian city of Zipaquirá has welcomed home local hero Egan Bernal, 10 days after he won the Tour de France.

Last month the 22-year-old became the first Colombian to win cycling's most prestigious race – and its youngest champion in 110 years.

Thousands of people gathered in the town's central square as early as 05:00.

His return also coincided with a national holiday – the 200th anniversary of Colombia's victory against Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.

"I'll never forget seeing so many people gathered for me," Bernal told his fans.

"When I see you there, I'm only just starting to realise what this meant for Colombia.

"It makes me very proud to be able to give something to society and to give Colombia hope."

Bernal landed in the capital, Bogotá, on Monday. He had been competing in a series of shorter races in Europe that followed his Tour de France win.

He turned down the offer of a parade through Zipaquirá, opting instead for a more modest stage in the town's central square.

There, he paid tribute to his first coach Fabio Rodriguez, and showed his white jersey – won for being the best young rider in the Tour.

Bernal also held up his Read More – Source

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Brazil’s space agency chief out amid deforestation row
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Brazil’s space agency chief out amid deforestation row

The head of Brazil's National Space Research Institute says he will be sacked after a public row with President Jair Bolsonaro over the scale of deforestation in the Amazon.

Ricardo Galvão had accused the far-right president of "cowardice" for questioning the institute's data.

It showed an 88% increase in deforestation in June compared with the same month a year ago.

Mr Bolsonaro said the institute was smearing Brazil's reputation.

Brazil's ministry of science and technology has confirmed Mr Galvão's departure, although it is not clear whether he had quit or been fired.

Mr Bolsonaro, who took office in January, has accused Mr Galvão's organisation of trying to undermine the government.

However, the National Space Research Institute (Inpe) says its data is 95% accurate.

Scientists say the Amazon has suffered losses at an accelerated rate under Mr Bolsonaro's government, with policies that favour development over conservation.

As the largest rainforest in the world, the Amazon is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming.

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Official figures suggest that the biggest reason to fell trees there is to create new pastures for cattle.

Over the past decade, previous governments hadRead More – Source

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Brazil’s Altamira jail where 57 were killed ‘was understaffed’
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Brazil’s Altamira jail where 57 were killed ‘was understaffed’

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Conditions at a prison in Brazil where 57 inmates were killed in fighting on Monday have been described as "terrible" in an official report.

The National Justice Council said that Altamira jail in north-eastern Pará state contained more than double the number of inmates it was built for.

It also said that there were not enough guards to guarantee inmates' safety.

Deadly fights are not uncommon in Brazil, which has the world's third-largest prison population.

What happened?
The violence broke out at 07:00 local time (10:00 GMT) on Monday when members of a criminal gang housed in Block A of the jail, invaded an annex where members of a rival gang were locked up.

Sixteen inmates were decapitated in the fight which followed. Many more died from smoke asphyxiation after the fighting prisoners set a cell on fire.

Video taken from outside the prison showed smoke billowing from the building and inmates walking around on rooftops.

The inmates also took two prison officers hostage but released them after negotiations with civil and military police.

The fighting lasted for about five hours.

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What did the report say?
The report published by the National Justice Council on Monday – the day the deadly fight occurred – was damning, describing conditions at Altamira as "terrible".

It said that the prison, which has a capacity of 163, held 343 male inmates.

It also pointed out that Altamira had only 33 guards, too low to guarantee safety inside the prison, and called for their number to be increased.

The report concluded that there was "an urgent need for a new prison unit" as Altamira prison was old and had to rely on containers to house the inmates.

Brazilian media say that a new prison which was started to be built in 2013 and meant to be completed in 2016 still has not been finished, putting additional strain on Altamira.

After Monday's deadly incident, prison officials in Pará said the new jail, which will be able to house 600 people, would be finished by the end of 2019.

Which gangs are involved?
Pará state officials said that the inmates who started the deadly fight belonged to a criminal gang known as Comando Classe A (CCA), which they say is one of the more than a dozen gangs affiliated with First Capital Command (PCC), believed to be Brazil's largest and most powerful drug gang.

Their target were members of the Comando Vermelho (Red Command).

The Rio de Janeiro-based Comando Vermelho and the São Paulo-based PCC have been at war since 2016 when they ended an uneasy working relationship after the PCC moved to infiltrate drug smuggling routes controlled by Comando Vermelho.

The feud has spread to prisons across the country where members of the rival gangs are held.

What has the reaction been?
The justice ministry said that ringleaders of the violence would be transferred to more secure units in federal jails. It said 46 of those who took partRead More – Source

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Brazil’s indigenous people: Miners kill one in invasion of protected reserve
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Brazil’s indigenous people: Miners kill one in invasion of protected reserve

Heavily armed gold miners have invaded a remote indigenous reserve in northern Brazil and stabbed to death one of its leaders, officials say.

Residents of the village in Amapá state fled in fear and there were concerns violent clashes could erupt if they tried to reclaim the gold-rich land.

Police have arrived in the area.

Tensions in the Amazon region are on the rise as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who is against the reserves, vows to open some of them to mining.

Mr Bolsonaro says the indigenous territories are too big given the number of people living there, and critics accuse him of encouraging illegal mining and invasions of reserves.

The group of 10 to 15 heavily armed miners overran the village Yvytotõ of the Wajãpi community and "tensions were high", according to Brazil's indigenous rights agency, Funai.

The residents fled to the Mariry village, some 40 minutes away by foot, and have been warned not to try to come into any contact with the invaders.

Based on accounts from the Wajãpi, Funai said the miners had killed 68-year-old Emyra Wajãpi, whose body was found with stab marks in a river near Mariry on Wednesday. It said, though, it had not been to the crime scene because of the difficulty of access.

Despite the rising tensions, killings of indigenous leaders in Brazil are rare.

The incident appears to confirm the worst fears for the fate of Brazil's protected indigenous territories, the BBC's Julia Carneiro in Rio reports.

Federal police and an elite force arrived in the area on Sunday, and both the federal police and the federal prosecutors' office said they will investigate the events, reported by a local leader on Saturday.

"This is the first violent invasion in 30 years since the demarcation of the indigenous reserves in Amapá," Senator Rodolfe Rodrigues told local newspaper Diário do Amapá (in Portuguese), warning of a "blood bath".

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The 1,200 members of the Wajãpi community live in dozens of villages in a 600,000-hectare reserve in Amapá, next to French Guiana.

Speaking earlier on Saturday, Mr Bolsonaro said some of the indigenous territories were on "very rich [mineral] land" and that he was "lookingRead More – Source

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Colombia’s Bernal set to win Tour de France
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Colombia’s Bernal set to win Tour de France

Egan Bernal is poised to become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France after finishing Saturday's penultimate stage in the yellow jersey.

Tradition dictates that the race leader is not challenged on Sunday's largely processional final stage to Paris.

Bernal, 22, will become the youngest Tour winner for 110 years, with Ineos team-mate Geraint Thomas in second.

Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk moved up to third as Julian Alaphilippe faded on an Alpine stage won by Vincenzo Nibali.

Italian Nibali, winner of the Tour de France in 2014, was in the day's break and attacked again on the climb to the finish at Val Thorens, winning by 10 seconds from Spain's Alejandro Valverde.

Bernal and Thomas, who won last year's Tour, finished stage 20 a few seconds later, crossing the line arm-in-arm, with huge grins on their faces. They came into the race as joint leaders for Ineos and, providing they both reach the finish in Paris on Sunday, will end it first and second in the general classification.

"We're now close to making it official," said Bernal. "There's one stage left but, normally, if everything goes well, I can say that I've won my first Tour.

"It's incredible. I just want to get to the finish line in Paris and after I'll be calmer.

"Colombia is on the verge of winning its first Tour, We already had won the Giro d'Italia and La Vuelta a Espana, but the Tour was missing and it's a great honour to think that I'm the one achieving this."

Welshman Thomas, who ended the stage trailing in the overall standings by one minute, 11 seconds, wrote on Twitter: "Congrats Egan Bernal. What a rider. The first of many."

Bernal, who will also collect the white jersey as the best young rider in the race, will put to an end a run of four successive British winners – Chris Froome winning three of his four titles from 2015 and Thomas triumphing last year.

Listen: BeSpoke at the Tour: Stage 20 – Bernal victorious
Tour 'night and day' compared to 2018 – Thomas
Joint team leadership 'worked to perfection'

The green points jersey classification will be won for a record seventh time by Slovakian Peter Sagan, who pulled a wheelie as he rode over the finish line several minutes after the stage winner, while the polka dot King of the Mountains jersey will go to Frenchman Romain Bardet.

That will be some consolation for the French supporters who had been hoping to see a home victory for the first time since Bernhard Hinault won his record-equalling fifth Tour in 1985.

Alaphilippe, the world's number one-ranked male cyclist, had led the race for 14 days, and after holding the yellow jersey through the Pyrenees in week two also retained it after the first day in the Alps.

However, he finally cracked on Friday's storm-shortened 19th stage and he again fell away on Saturday's final climb of the three-week race. He is set to finish fifth overall.

France's other big hope, Thibaut Pinot, had also looked strong in the Pyrenees, but a freak injury, caused when his thigh hit his handlebar on stage 17, saw him eventually abandon the race from fifth place during stage 19.

How stage 20 unfolded
Saturday's stage was reduced by 71km to just 59.5km, with one major climb – the 19.9km ascent of the Cormet de Roselend – chopped from the race because a landslide, caused by stormy weather in the Alps, had blocked the road.

That left the riders facing an unusual race along a dual carriageway across the valley from Albertville to the bottom of the day's solitary 33km climb to the ski resort of Val Thorens.

More than 20 broke clear and opened a lead of around two minutes, 30 seconds as they reached the ascent but with the race for the overall title happening in the peloton behind them, their lead was gradually eroded.

The Jumbo-Visma team of Kruijswijk, who started the stage in fourth, 88 seconds adrift of Bernal, set a furious pace from the bottom of the ascent.

Kruijswijk started the day just 12 seconds behind third-placed Thomas and 40 behind Alaphilippe and his team's efforts were rewarded when Alaphilippe cracked with around 13km of the race remaining.

However, Kruijswijk was unable to break the Ineos riders with Thomas and Bernal content to sit and ride tempo all the way to the finish line,

Dutch rider Kruijswijk eventually finished eight seconds behind Thomas to cement third place overall, one minute, 31 seconds behind Bernal.

Why the Bernal win will not be a surprise

The climbing specialist, who was born on 13 January, 1997 in Colombia's capital city Bogota at an altitude of 2,600m, showed his potential at last year's Tour, when he rode as a domestique to Thomas and four-time champion Chris Froome.

After pacing Thomas to victory on Alpe d'Huez and ultimately the overall title, Froome said: "He's got an amazing engine. You only have to look at what he did on Alpe d'Huez, for a 21-year-old, that's amazing.

"There is a lot in Egan that reminds me of myself when I was younger. It's great having him on the team and he brings a lot of young, new energy to the group."

He joined Team Sky for the 2018 season, after winning the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir – a stage race for under-23 riders that has seen manyRead More – Source

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