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Cycling-Bernal returns to training after Colombia crash

Randy Mancini 3 Mar 13
Former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal poses for a photo with the medical team of the Clinica Universidad de la Sabana, in Chia
FILE PHOTO: Former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal poses for a photo with the medical team of the Clinica Universidad de la Sabana, after discharging him following several operations to which he was subjected after suffering an accident while training on Colombian roads, in Chia, Colombia February 6, 2022. Courtesy of Sabana University Clinic/Handout via REUTERS

March 13, 2022

(Reuters) – Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal posted a picture on social media on Saturday of himself training on a stationary bike, weeks after injuring his spine, legs and chest in a training accident that left him needing neurosurgery.

Bernal, who became the first South American to win the Tour de France in 2019 and added the Giro d’Italia to his list of achievements last year, crashed on Jan. 24 near Colombia’s capital Bogota.

The 25-year-old said he had a 95% chance of becoming a paraplegic following the accident. He left the hospital in February.

“Guess who is back on his bike,” Bernal wrote in a post on Twitter, which accompanied a photo of him sitting on a stationary bike in training gear. “As long as there is faith, everything is possible.”

Earlier on Saturday, Ineos Grenadiers cycling coach Xabier Artexte said the Colombian could potentially make a return to competition by the end of the year.

“Egan is a top-level sportsman and his recovery skills are also above average,” Artexte told https://www.gazzetta.it/Ciclismo/12-03-2022/ciclismo-miracolo-bernal-47-giorni-dall-incidente-gia-bici-lavora-il-rientro-4301819743848.shtml Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He is working to get back as soon as possible. It could be 2023 but also the end of this year. We must not rule it out, far from it.”

Bernal was the youngest rider to win the Tour in more than a century and recently extended his contract with the Ineos Grenadiers team to 2026.

(Reporting by Aadi Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael Perry)