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Egan Bernal will not start the Ruta del Sol this week.
Reports out of Gazzetta dello Sport and later verified by VeloNews confirm Bernal is still nursing issues with the knee he injured at the Vuelta a San Juan last month.
Bernal was scheduled to race the five-day Vuelta a Andalucia / “Ruta del Sol” starting Wednesday as he builds toward a return to the Tour de France this summer.
The Colombian started his season at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina last month and saw a strong ride on the Colorado summit overshadowed by his abandon later that week due to a knee injury sustained in previous stages.
Ineos Grenadiers staffers confirmed at the time that the problem was not serious and should not impact Bernal’s ongoing race calendar. The 26-year-old did however go on to pull out of a planned start at the Colombian national championships this month.
“The knee still continues to bother me. We know what knee injuries are like, so we are going to see how things go and make the best decision. But as I’ve said, I’m still thinking about the races in Europe,” Bernal told NoticiasRCN.com of the Colombia decision.
Bernal is next scheduled to race at Paris-Nice, starting March 5, in what could be a showdown with Tadej Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard.
The Ineos Grenadiers captain has made the Tour de France the center of his plans for 2023 as he targets an ambitious comeback from the devastating crash and injuries he sustained in a training incident last year.