His aching back wouldn’t let him go! Last year’s winner Egan Bernal resigned from the cycling Tour de France before Wednesday’s royal 17th stage. The Colombian, who had not finished the previous Critérium du Dauphiné due to back problems, was ranked 16th in this year’s Tour.
On the Tour, Bernal remained in the top three of the standings until last weekend, but on Sunday he was no longer good enough and lost over seven minutes. After a day off in Tuesday’s mountain stage, he lost more than 27 minutes and decided not to continue today.
“Of course I didn’t want to end my performance at the Tour de France like this, but given the circumstances, it’s the right step. I have great respect for this race and I’m already looking forward to coming back next year,” said Ineos Grenadiers, a member of the team.
Egan Bernal is out of the Tour de France https://t.co/OBQQJ81zof pic.twitter.com/lwFEau8da8
— The Cycle Collective (@cyclecollective) September 16, 2020
As he tried to relieve his aching back, he also began to suffer from a knee.
“We decided on this in Egan’s interest. He is a real champion, but also a young rider who still has a lot of Tour to do. At the moment, we thought it was reasonable for him to end the race,” said Dave Brailsford, head of the British team.
A year ago, Bernal became the third youngest Tour winner in history at the age of 22.
According to Ineos management, after recovering, Bernal will find other targets for the rest of the coronavirus season. In October, the delayed remaining Grand Tours Giro d’Italia and Vuelta, on which he has not yet started, will take place. He will not perform at the World Championships in Imola at the end of September.