Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former champion Bernal confirms Tour de France return



Former champion Bernal confirms Tour de France return

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Egan Bernal of INEOS Grenadiers rides during the first-ever Giro d’Italia Criterium race at Expo 2020 in Dubai on November 6. AFP

Former champion Bernal confirms Tour de France return

Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal will bid to reclaim the Tour de France title in 2022, the Ineos rider confirmed to press in his homeland on Tuesday.

Bernal won the Tour de France in style aged just 22 in 2019, but the climbing sensation withdrew injured half-way through the 2020 edition and skipped the following year to race and win the Giro d’Italia.

In his absence the even younger Slovenian Tadej Pogacar of Team UAE Emirates won back-to-back Tour de France titles and is now considered the man to beat.

But the prospect of seeing Bernal try to wrestle the title from Pogacar’s iron grip is a mouthwatering proposition.

When cycling magazine Mundo Ciclistico asked Bernal, who turns 25 in January, if he would race the Tour de France in 2022 he confirmed he would.

“The answer is yes,” said Bernal, who emerged from the shadow of teammate Welshman Geraint Thomas over the culminating high-altitude Alpine peaks to win his Tour in 2019.

“That is clear. We will focus all our training, preparations and force on getting ready for the Tour de France this year,” he said.

“It’s time to go back, to return to the paths we found in 2019, and which I moved away from slightly,” said Bernal.

As the Giro d’Italia finishes less than three weeks before the Tour begins in 2022 the news suggests he would likely miss the Italian race, of which he speaks so highly.

“Winning the Giro was of enormous personal and sporting significance for me personally, my team and for Colombians,” said the man who raced as a neo-pro in Italy.

“It took huge physical and mental strength to win the Giro, and I’ll never forget it.”

“I think I’m over the back injury but the results on the bike will show if that’s right,” he said of the niggling back complaint that came to the fore during his Tour de France defence.

“I’ll be starting my season in Europe,” he said.

The 2022 Tour starts with three stages in Copenhagen and, in the words of its designer Thierry Gouvenou, will suit only ‘complete riders’ who can thrive on any surface and in any conditions.

Bernal, who grew up in the Andes can look forwards to five finishes at high altitude, one of them at 2400m.

But given his slight frame, he may struggle more on the windy 17km bridge over the sea in Denmark, on the 19km of cobblestones in France’s northern mining region, or on the 40km of time-trialling.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Banteay Meanchey gunfight sees 15 Thais arrested, three officers injured

    The Banteay Meanchey Military Police have arrested 15 Thai suspects and their accomplices after a gun battle between two Thai groups caused injuries to three police officers in the early hours of November 21, local authorities said. National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy said that according to

  • Locally-trained commercial pilots to lift Cambodia’s aviation standard

    The Kingdom is boosting its civil aviation sector with the establishment of a flight school with a local airline to meet growth demands once air travel recovers At 22, First Officer Reachta Lim is the youngest commercial pilot in Cambodia. He flies with the national flag