Egan Bernal to return to racing at Tour of Denmark after life-threatening crash

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Following a horror training crash in January, Egan Bernal nearly lost his life and said he had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic; Bernal was left with 20 different fractures including in his spine, femur and kneecap; competing at the Tour of Denmark marks a courageous recovery

Last Updated: 15/08/22 2:24pm

Egan Bernal’s return to racing marks a remarkable recovery following a horror crash

Former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal will make his return to racing at the Tour of Denmark on Tuesday, eight months after he suffered a life-threatening crash while training in Colombia.

Bernal was left with 20 different fractures, including in his spine, femur and kneecap, after hitting a stationary bus while riding at 65 kilometres per hour (40mph) on his time trial bike in January.

He was considered lucky to have survived and doctors initially warned there was a high likelihood Bernal could be paralysed as a result of his injuries, but he has made rapid progress since beginning his rehabilitation.

Now Bernal, who won the Tour in 2019 and the Giro d’Italia in 2021, is ready to return at the five-day Tour of Denmark, which begins in Allerod on Tuesday.

“After what happened to me in January, this has been the moment I’ve been waiting for – to race with my teammates again,” Bernal said.

“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.

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“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.”

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Ineos deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth said the race marked the next stage of Bernal’s recovery, with much work still ahead.

“When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago it’s incredible the progress he has made,” he said.

“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.”

Ineos had already announced a seven-strong squad headlined by Geraint Thomas for the Danish race, but Bernal replaces Andrey Amador who has dropped out due to illness.

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