Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) will return to racing this week, making his season debut and his comeback from his horrific winter coaching crash on the Tour of Denmark.
The Colombian, who received the Tour de France in 2019 and Giro d’Italia in 2021, has spent almost eight months on the sidelines after struggling life-threatening accidents when he crashed into the again of a bus whereas coaching in Colombia in late January.
With fractured vertebrae and several other rounds of emergency surgical procedure in intensive care, Bernal was thought-about fortunate to have survived and it was unsure he’d be capable to return to biking in any respect, not to mention this yr.
However his restoration progressed far faster than anybody may have imagined and already within the spring Bernal was displaying such progress that rumours started to flow into over a return within the autumn.
After being linked first to the Vuelta a España after which the Vuelta a Burgos and Deutschland Tour, he was named in Ineos Grenadiers’ line-up for the Tour of Denmark, which begins on Tuesday and runs by Saturday.
“After what occurred to me in January this has been the second I’ve been ready for – to race with my teammates once more,” Bernal stated.
“I can’t emphasise sufficient how exhausting the final eight months have been for me, each bodily and mentally. That day, and the journey that I’ve been on since will probably be part of me without end, it’s one thing you always remember.
“As is the help that I’ve obtained from my household, my girlfriend, the workforce, Ineos, in addition to my followers. As people we actually depend on one another in our occasions of want, and this yr has been a time of want for me – I can’t thank everybody who has been there for me sufficient. That help has been invaluable in motivating me day by day to work exhausting to have the ability to race once more. To you all, a heartfelt thanks.”
After two weeks in hospital, Bernal returned house in early February, capable of stroll gingerly whereas sporting a neck and again brace. Only a week later, he was capable of spin his legs on a recumbent train bike, a primary signal of his eagerness to work his means again to racing.
In early March he was capable of experience his race bike on an indoor coach and by the tip of the month he was out driving on the open street. Since then he has stunned everybody along with his progress, racking up the kilometres whereas introducing sprints and efforts to begin to get better his skilled kind.
A workforce coaching camp in Andorra was a key second, a two-week block that successfully confirmed he would be capable to return to racing earlier than the tip of the yr. After a remaining spherical of medical checks on the weekend, that can develop into a actuality on Tuesday.
“If you suppose again to the place Egan was solely eight months in the past it is unbelievable the progress he has made,” stated deputy workforce principal Rod Ellingworth.
“He’s proven the world the true power of his character, and demonstrated exceptional grit in returning to race-readiness. We’re nonetheless on a journey with Egan, however lining up on the Tour of Denmark is a big and hard-earned milestone.”
The Tour of Denmark will provide Bernal 5 days of racing, with two anticipated bunch sprints, one 12km time trial, a 240km day with gravel sectors, and a punchy climbing stage to complete.