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Bernal, 25, collided with a bus while cycling with his Ineos Grenadiers teammates.
According to a media release from the team, Bernal fractured a vertebrae, his right femur, multiple ribs, and his right patella. He also suffered chest trauma and a punctured lung.
“He is now in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body’s response to the trauma,” read a team release distributed Tuesday morning.
Bernal had been taking part in an organized training camp with teammates when the collision occurred. According to multiple reports, the bus had stopped to unload passengers, and Bernal slammed into it. Emergency crews rushed him to Clínica Universidad La Sabana, in the town of Chia, where doctors operated on him.
Earlier this month, Bernal and his teammates were nearly struck by a driver on Colombian roads.
The crash marks a major setback for the nation’s biggest international cycling star. In 2019, Bernal shattered decades of Colombian disappointment at the Tour de France by becoming the first cyclist from his country to win the race. The victory thrust Bernal into a leadership role within Britain’s Ineos Grenadiers cycling team, which won six of the previous seven editions of the Tour.
In 2021, Bernal won the prestigious Giro d’Italia and appeared on track to join the elite circle of cycling’s greatest historic champions.
He was slated to lead Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France in July and was set to begin his 2022 cycling campaign at France’s Tour de La Provence in February. Now his projected recovery timeline is unclear, and neither the team nor doctors know how the injuries will impact his future in the sport.
There has been an outpouring of support from the cycling world following news of Bernal’s accident, with former teammate Chris Froome, Slovakian star Peter Sagan, and countryman Nairo Quintana among those wishing him a quick recovery.
I’m sending @Eganbernal my warmest wishes for a speedy recovery. Egan, I look forward to seeing you bounce back stronger than ever and sharing the road with you wherever we race!
— Peter Sagan (@petosagan) January 25, 2022
My thoughts are with Egan and his family today ❤️ pic.twitter.com/cbJ0YeJzfq
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) January 25, 2022
Envío a mi colega @EganBernal un abrazo de fortaleza, soy consciente de lo que conlleva este tipo de situaciones, así mismo sé que siempre es posible levantarse y continuar con más fuerza. ¡Pronta recuperación!
— NairoQuinCo (@NairoQuinCo) January 24, 2022