The esteemed Colombian cyclist, Egan Bernal, has conveyed his determination to demonstrate that he still retains the prowess that can put him on par with the exceptional stalwarts of the cycling world. His candid disclosure, shared during a recent interview with his team INEOS Grenadiers, reveals a cycling competitor ready to move past his medical tribulations.
Bernal opened up about the painful back injury that compromised his performance in 2020. He revealed that he had been left on the sidelines of the racing circuit for the remainder of the year, subsequent to his withdrawal from the Tour de France. His focus in the ensuing months, he divulged, was directed towards his recovery, with a meticulous medical team to help him regain his strength and vitality.
Bernal acknowledged that though the healing process was demanding and protracted, it was a necessary phase he had to endure. He confessed that he had to learn to be patient, attuning himself to the pace his body could manage, as he gradually worked his way back onto the bicycle.
Bernal appeared to be in high spirits, with a flame of ambition clearly reignited. He expressed how his passion for the sport was undiminished, and that he yearned to demonstrate that his skill as a cyclist remains equitable with that of the other top-notch figures in the sporting world. He stated that he was not just returning to the sport out of habit, but because he maintains a deep-seated belief in his abilities.
The Colombian cyclist also discussed his prospects for the coming season. He shared that he is not yet certain about the specific races he will participate in, but divulged that he would be starting the season in Colombia, his homeland. He added that he would later head to Europe, but the details of his racing calendar were yet to be finalised.
Talking about his return to competitive cycling, Bernal highlighted that he was not expecting an easy journey. He conceded that he would need to push himself to the limit and work hard every day to reclaim his position as a leading figure in the world of cycling. He is also prepared for the reality that his competitors will not be holding back and are highly likely to make his comeback a real challenge.
Reflecting on his journey so far, Bernal admitted that he has had to confront some hard truths. He acknowledged the criticisms that have been levelled at him since his injury and withdrawal from the Tour de France. He also mentioned that he has had to manage high expectations from his fans and the public. But he showed no signs of buckling under pressure, and instead, declared his resolve to prove his mettle once again in the upcoming season.