Egan Bernal back to racing at the Tour of Denmark, eight months after a horror accident
Egan Bernal is set to return to racing on Tuesday, lining up for the Tour of Denmark, just eight months after the training crash that nearly left him paralyzed.
Ineos Grenadiers have confirmed that the Colombian will race for the first time in 2022 during the five-stage race which begins this week.
The 25-year-old suffered life-threatening injuries after colliding with a bus during home training in January. After the serious accident, Bernal needed seven separate operations to treat the 20 fractures and two collapsed lungs he suffered.
In a statement released by his team on Monday afternoon, he thanked everyone who supported him throughout his difficult journey home, which affected him physically and mentally.
“After what happened to me in January, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for – racing with my teammates again,” Bernal said. “I can’t stress enough how difficult the past eight months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey I’ve been on since will be a part of me forever, it’s something something you will never forget.
“Just like the support I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, Ineos as well as my fans. As human beings, we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I cannot thank everyone who has been there for me enough. This support has been invaluable in motivating me every day to work hard to be able to race again. all of you, a big thank you.”
There had been speculation that the 2020 Tour de France and 2021 Giro d’Italia would line up at the Vuelta a España for Ineos, but it was deemed too early to rush the Colombian into Grand Tour action. Instead, he will start the relatively low-key Tour of Denmark.
Rod Ellingworth, Ineos’ deputy team principal, said Bernal’s progress had been “incredible” and it was an important step in a journey he is still on.
“When you think back to where Egan was just eight months ago, the progress he’s made is incredible,” Ellingworth said. “He showed the world the true strength of his character and showed remarkable courage in returning to racing. We are still on the journey with Egan, but lining up for the Tour of Denmark is a big and tough step. won.
“Egan’s long-term recovery has guided and continues to guide our medical and physical support program – our goals have always been performance driven, not racing driven, and the entire INEOS Grenadiers family are proud and delighted for Egan. that his determination and application now, see him back in the racing environment he has so longed for.”