Ineos Grenadiers have confirmed that Egan Bernal will return to racing at the Tour of Denmark, which starts tomorrow, eight months after a training crash in his native Colombia left the 25 year old with horrific injuries including multiple fractures and a punctured lung.
Bernal had been training on a time trial bike with colleagues from Ineos Grenadiers when he hit a parked bus, which it is believed he did not see since he was riding in an aero position with his head down.
Afterwards Bernal, who underwent a series of operations in the fortnight following the crash, reflected that “I almost died,” but in recent months the former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner has been easing himself back into training ahead of his return to competition.
“After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I’ve been waiting for – to race with my teammates again,” he said, after receiving the all-clear from his team’s medical staff to line up for the Danish stage race.
“I can’t emphasise enough how hard the last eight months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey that I have been on since will be a part of me forever, it’s something you never forget – as is the support that I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, INEOS as well as my fans.
“As humans we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I can’t thank everyone who has been there for me enough. That support has been invaluable in motivating me every day to work hard to be able to race again. To you all, a heartfelt thank you.”
Deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth said: “When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago it’s incredible the progress he has made. He’s shown the world the true strength of his character, and demonstrated remarkable grit in returning to race-readiness. We’re still on a journey with Egan, but lining up at the Tour of Denmark is a significant and hard-earned milestone.
“Egan’s long-term recovery has and continues to guide our medical and physical programme of support – our targets have always been performance-led not race-led, and the entire INEOS Grenadiers family is proud and delighted for Egan that his determination and application will now see him return to the race environment he has craved for so long,” he added.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.