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 dwelling floor on the current Tour Colombia the most recent 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, stated that “there’s nonetheless work to do” within the “lengthy course of” following his collision with a bus throughout a coaching experience 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 workforce.
“For instance that the numbers are rising little by little, however there’s nonetheless work to do. I’ve already been working very exhausting for the final two years, however it is a lengthy course of,” Bernal stated in an in-depth interview with Cyclingnews‘ Barry Ryan at Tour Colombia, which this yr visited his dwelling city of Zipaquirá.
“On this second, we are able to say that issues are going nicely and – nada – let’s examine. That is nonetheless solely the beginning of the season, and something might occur. In my head, quite than the numbers and fascinated with whether or not I am ‘again’ or not, I am simply going race by race.
“I am giving the perfect of myself in each race I do with the purpose of bettering as time goes by.”
Bernal has reportedly bought a return to the Vuelta pencilled in later this yr, together with his spring set to function 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.
Nevertheless, his 2024 Grand Tour plans are nonetheless up within the air, Bernal stated. He famous that his situation means any long-sighted racing schedule might nonetheless change.
“You may make a plan for the yr, however issues can change, particularly given the situation I am in,” he stated. “Typically perhaps you do not see issues as they are surely your self, however in the end need to be going nicely 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 in the end, you must be going nicely.”
The Spanish Grand Tour, ought to he experience, 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 stated that he has nothing left to show even when he would not make it again to that type of racing degree.
“I haven’t got to show something to anybody, I simply hold doing it as a result of I prefer it,” he stated. “I like being aggressive, I like pinning on a quantity, I just like the nerves you are feeling earlier than you begin a race. I really like all of that.
“Clearly, the crash and every part else provides you a special perspective on life too, so you must put emphasis on the issues which might be essential to you.”
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