FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Giro d'Italia - Stage 19 - Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera, Italy - May 28, 2021 Ineos Grenadiers rider Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia finishes stage 19 in third place REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini
March 29, 2022
(Reuters) – Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal said he was happy to be back on his bike just two months after a near-fatal accident left him needing multiple surgeries.
Bernal, who won the 2019 Tour de France and last year’s Giro d’Italia, had neurosurgery after slamming into a stationery bus in Colombia in January. He fractured his vertebra, right femur, right patella, and suffered chest trauma and a punctured lung.
The 25-year-old had said the accident left him with a 95% chance of becoming a paraplegic. But he left hospital in February and has posted a picture of himself on Instagram back cycling on the road, describing it as the “happiest day” of his life.
“After two months and 20 broken bones, here I am, and I want more. See you on the road, guys,” Bernal said.
Bernal was the youngest rider to win the Tour in more than a century and had recently extended his contract with the Ineos Grenadiers team to 2026.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)