Egan Bernal continues his lengthy street again to the height of the professional biking world following his life- and career-threatening crash in early 2022, with a top-5 inserting on residence floor on the current Tour Colombia the newest signal of progress for the 27-year-old.
Bernal, who positioned fourth on the 30km Alto del Vino summit end and was third in January’s Colombian Nationwide Championships street race, mentioned that “there’s nonetheless work to do” within the “lengthy course of” following his collision with a bus throughout a coaching journey simply over two years in the past.
Since then, he is made it again to racing after a six-month layoff and accomplished two Grand Excursions on the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, and on Sunday scored his finest GC outcome but while driving for his nationwide crew.
“As an instance that the numbers are rising little by little, however there’s nonetheless work to do. I’ve already been working very laborious for the final two years, however this can be a lengthy course of,” Bernal mentioned in an in-depth interview with Cyclingnews‘ Barry Ryan at Tour Colombia, which this 12 months visited his residence city of Zipaquirá.
“On this second, we are able to say that issues are going properly and – nada – let’s have a look at. That is nonetheless solely the beginning of the season, and something may occur. In my head, relatively than the numbers and occupied with whether or not I am ‘again’ or not, I am simply going race by race.
“I am giving one of the best of myself in each race I do with the purpose of enhancing as time goes by.”
Bernal has reportedly bought a return to the Vuelta pencilled in later this 12 months, together with his spring set to characteristic O Gran Camiño, the Volta a Catalunya and Itzulia Basque Nation. He’ll additionally return to Tuscany for Strade Bianche, racing the sterrato he triumphed on at his second-ever street race earlier than being snapped up by Androni in 2015.
Nonetheless, his 2024 Grand Tour plans are nonetheless up within the air, Bernal mentioned. He famous that his situation means any long-sighted racing schedule may nonetheless change.
“You may make a plan for the 12 months, however issues can change, particularly given the situation I am in,” he mentioned. “Typically perhaps you do not see issues as they are surely your self, however finally should be going properly to get despatched to sure races.
“In case you’re not, you may be despatched to different ones. It is easy, actually. You’ll be able to plan to go to the Giro, Tour or the Vuelta, however finally, it’s a must to be going properly.”
The Spanish Grand Tour, ought to he journey, is the one Grand Tour lacking from Bernal’s palmarès, together with his finest outcome having been sixth place again in 2021.
In fact, he has Tour de France and Giro d’Italia wins – together with myriad different stage races – to his title, and so he mentioned that he has nothing left to show even when he does not make it again to that form of racing degree.
“I haven’t got to show something to anybody, I simply preserve doing it as a result of I prefer it,” he mentioned. “I like being aggressive, I like pinning on a quantity, I just like the nerves you’re feeling earlier than you begin a race. I really like all of that.
“Clearly, the crash and the whole lot else offers you a distinct perspective on life too, so it’s a must to put emphasis on the issues which might be vital to you.”
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