Egan Bernal withdrew Saturday from the Criterium du Dauphine as a precaution due to a back injury, but his Ineos team is confident the Colombian will be on the Tour de France starting line in Nice at the end of the month when he begins the defence of his title.
Ineos leader Bernal was in seventh place trailing Primoz Roglic by 31 seconds, with this year's Tour de France due to start August 29, when he pulled out of the final two Dauphine stages.
"He rode back to the hotel and he could have done the stage today for sure," Ineos sports director Gabriel Rasch said after Saturday's fourth stage from Ugine to Megeve.
"He had a back injury that's he's had before, so we wanted to make sure that we had enough time between here and the start of the Tour to treat it."
Geraint Thomas, winner of the Tour in 2018, said he did not foresee a "major issue" for Bernal after revealing the reason for his Ineos team-mate's withdrawal from the tune-up race.
"He's got a bit of a bad back and the best thing for him is to just take it easy," said Thomas.
"It's such a short turn around to the Tour that it's important he gets it 100 per cent right and be good then. I don't think it's a major issue, it's just better to be on the side of caution," he added.
With four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome still fighting back to full fitness, and Thomas still getting up to speed, Bernal, just 23, had been the clear leader of the British outfit here.
After winning the Route d'Occitanie, Bernal was overshadowed by Roglic at the Tour de L'Ain and at the ultra-mountainous Dauphine he has been slowly but surely slipping off the pace.
Ineos' Russian climber Pavel Sivakov said after stage three he felt Bernal had been huge, but was feeling unwell.
"Egan told me that he was not feeling super today," said the Russian champion who stayed with Bernal once Thomas and Froome had dropped off.
"Egan had a bit of a hard day in the end but it's not a problem. He's here and he's done two hard races," Sivakov said on Friday.
Ineos, formerly Team Sky, have won seven of the last eight editions of the Tour de France, masterminded by team principal and wily tactician Dave Brailsford.