already the Tour from france is underway and the eyes of the fans are not only focused on the fight between Jonas Vingegaard, who defends the title, and Tadej Pogacarhis great rival, but in the Colombian egan bernalwho is part of the team Ineos.
Bernal disputes his fourth Tour: he was 15 in 2018, won it in 2019 and lost a year later.
(Egan Bernal, the best Colombian in the first battle of the Tour de France) (Video: the pilot Dilano van’t Hoff lost his life in this brutal accident)
I won the quota
He arrives at the competition with 37 days of racing and 5,555 kilometers in his legs in the season, after retiring in the Tour of San Juan, Tour of Catalonia, his eighth places in the Tour of Romandie and Hungary, and 12th place in the Critérium Dauphiné.
After the accident in which he was almost left in a wheelchair and that could have caused his death on January 24, 2022, Egan arrives on the Tour after playing 10 competitions, in five of which he has said goodbye early.
He has been very candid: «I did not come to the Tour to compete in it, I am far from the level of before and I want to continue looking for my best form», He said at the team presentation last Thursday. Overwhelming.
We shouldn’t have any illusions, Bernal will not compete in this Tour, he will not win it, he will not go for the podium and he will not be in the top five overall, and that already says it all.
The experts speak
He earned a place in the Ineos team for his results this year, because his directors see that he can be a help to his teammates and without great aspirations, and suddenly he can surprise.
“It is a hope for the future, not for today. After that strong accident, he is already running a lot. He seeks to improve what he does, feeling like a cyclist. There are not many who suffer these accidents and come back, but Bernal has done it, ”he told WEATHER George Hincapieone of the cyclists who hold the record for the most participations in the Tour: 17.
«That he is on the Tour tells us that he is in shape to run it, not to win it.»
And he added: “He has a good team and they will surround him, and that shows that they trust him. Egan can come back later and this time he will go to the Tour to meet a three-week race.
Hincapié, who was teammate of Lance Armstrong at the US Postal and of Colombian descent, assures that not much should be expected of him in this test and that credit must be given to the group in which he is.
«He has around him one of the best medical, physiotherapy and preparation teams in cycling in the world at the moment, and that he is in the Tour warns us that he is in shape to run it, not to win it,» said Hincapié. .
Finally, the American runner said that he is happy to see the Colombian in the most important race, a prize for his courage.
«That he runs it is already the greatest prize, for him it is like having won his second Tour, after everything that has happened,» Hincapié said.
In some things the Spanish exciclist coincides Pello Ruiz Cabestany, who was part of the Tour batch seven times, known in Colombia for his rivalry with Luis Herrera and Fabio Parra.
“Bernal is unknown. They have a powerful team, they don’t have a clear leader and the Colombian can be a figure,» he said.
«For them, going to the Tour and doing nothing is not good, that’s why they take the best and
Egan Bernal is among them. What would it be for him to have a good race”, commented Cabestany.
The former runner is one of those who thinks that Bernal’s quality could not have been lost with the accident, although he warns that caution must be exercised.
“Being the protagonist, going to win a stage and fighting would be ideal for Bernal. We know that after the accident he tries to find the best form for him, but he does not stop being a Tour champion, ”he said.
For the Spaniard, this type of accident leaves mental scars in the runners, but he assures that he has not seen this in the Cundinamarqués runner.
“Look at a chris froomeHe did not return, but Bernal shows that he is mentally fine. I have seen him compete and he is not afraid of anything. In Ineos they know how he is, without a doubt, and they will take him to the Tour for something and not for a walk, those teams cannot afford to do nothing in a big one, ”he specified.
word of champion
Stefano Garzelli was champion of the Giro d’Italia in 2000 and second in 2003, an authoritative voice to talk about what Bernal can do on the Tour. And he surprises with the sharpness of him.
“Vingegaard and Pogacar are the favourites, then there is a batch of riders who will fight for the podium and I put Bernal there”.
“I spoke with him, and he told me that he was happy to return to the Tour and that joy is seen in him. It will be difficult to do anything, after the accident, but he is a class rider and that is not lost”, said Garzelli. For the Italian, today a television commentator, the 26-year-old rider could be a pleasant surprise.
“Vingegaard and Pogacar are the favourites, then there is a batch of riders who will fight for the podium and I put Bernal there. Returning to the levels of before will not be easy, but riding the Tour after that accident is a very good thing”, the Italian specified.
Egan Bernal returns to the Tour after two years and nine months, when he got off the bike after the back pain that tormented him, in the edition in which he defended the title that he modified in 2019, and today he is the center of attraction and admiration in the test for having overcome difficulties in recent months.
(Video: dramatic fall of Richard Carapaz and Enric Mas in the Tour de France) (Gerard Piqué and Clara Chía: incredible surprise when they were walking through Barcelona)
Editor of EL TIEMPO