Eight months after a career-threatening crash while training in Colombia, former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal will return to racing at the Tour of Denmark on Tuesday.
When Bernal, then 25 years old, crashed into a parked bus in January while riding his time trial bike at 40 miles per hour, he suffered 20 fractures, including to his spine, femur, and kneecap.
Egan Bernal was Deemed Lucky to Survive
Doctors said there was a good chance he could be paralysed from his injuries, and he was deemed lucky to survive, but he’s made great strides in rehabilitation.
For Bernal, “to race alongside my teammates again has been the moment I’ve been longing for since what happened to me in January.”
I can’t stress enough how challenging the past eight months have been emotionally and physically. There is no way I could ever forget that day or the path it set me on.
“As is the love and encouragement of my loved ones, my girlfriend, my teammates, Ineos, and all of my fans. As humans, we rely heavily on one another in 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.
Ineos had already confirmed a seven-man squad for the Danish race, led by Geraint Thomas, but Bernal has replaced Andrey Amador, who had to withdraw due to sickness.
Meanwhile, despite suffering catastrophic injuries in last month’s Tour de France, three-time champion Primoz Roglic will compete the final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a Espaa, his team Jumbo-Visma said on Monday.
Roglic fell in the fifth stage of the Tour de France, dislocating his shoulder and injuring his back. He decided to pull out of the race before the 15th stage so that he could focus on healing.
Sporting director for Jumbo-Visma, Merijn Zeeman, exclaimed, “We are thrilled that Primoz can start in the Vuelta after his catastrophic injury in the Tour de France.”
To be logical, he wasn’t well-prepared, but we admire his efforts nonetheless. At this early stage, we have a well-rounded team that can provide Primoz with the best possible support in every respect.
Starting in Utrecht on August 19th, Roglic will attempt to make history by becoming the first rider to win the Vuelta a Espaa four times in a row.