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Egan Bernal will make his long-awaited comeback at the Tour of Denmark.
The race is set to start on Tuesday and Ineos Grenadiers had last week announced its lineup without Bernal’s inclusion.
However, VeloNews learned that the former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner had been added to the British team’s roster for the Danish race. After VeloNews broke the story Ineos Grenadiers issued a press release to confirm the news.
“After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I’ve been waiting for – to race with my teammates again. I can’t emphasize 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,” Bernal said.
“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.”
It had been expected that Bernal would come back later in the month at the Deutschland Tour but his return after a long injury-related absence has been brought forward.
The 2021 Giro d’Italia champion struck a stationary bus at full speed on January 24 riding at 62kph (35.5 mph) while training on his time trial bike ahead of a planned season debut. He suffered 20 fractures and the first medical report detailed a long list of injuries, including damage to his spine. The Colombian underwent surgery to aid several of his most serious fractures. He also suffered a punctured lung.
“When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago it’s incredible the progress he has made. 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,” said team chief Rod Ellingworth.
“Egan’s long-term recovery has and continues to guide our medical and physical program of support – our targets have always been performance-led not race-led, and the entire Ineos Grenadiers family is proud and delighted for Egan that his determination and application will now see him return to the race environment he has craved for so long.”