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Bernal to make cycling return seven months after near-fatal Bogota crash
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Ryan Benson
LiveScore
Egan Bernal is to return to racing on Tuesday
Egan Bernal is to return to racing on Tuesday

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal will make his return to racing on Tuesday after seven months out of action following a serious training crash.

The INEOS Grenadiers rider was training near his home city of Bogota in January when he struck a parked bus while riding at high speed.

The collision left Bernal requiring surgery on his spine, while he also suffered two collapsed lungs, fractures in his right leg and kneecap, a broken thumb and a lost tooth.

Bernal spent several days in intensive care and later said the crash nearly killed him, while he believed there was a 95 per cent likelihood "of becoming a paraplegic".

In February, he had a second operation on his spine before eventually returning to the bike a month later.

Now, his team confirmed he will make his comeback to racing in the Tour of Denmark – which begins on Tuesday – after this final step of his rehabilitation was approved by medical staff.

Bernal said: "After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I've been waiting for – to race with my team-mates again.

"I can't emphasise enough how hard the last eight months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey that I have been on since will be a part of me forever, it's something you never forget, as is the support that I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, INEOS as well as my fans.

"As humans we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I can't thank everyone who has been there for me enough.

"That support has been invaluable in motivating me every day to work hard to be able to race again. To you all, a heartfelt thank you."

Deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth, added: "When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago, it's incredible the progress he has made.

"He's shown the world the true strength of his character, and demonstrated remarkable grit in returning to race-readiness. We're still on a journey with Egan, but lining up at the Tour of Denmark is a significant and hard-earned milestone.

"Egan's long-term recovery has and continues to guide our medical and physical programme of support – our targets have always been performance-led not race-led, and the entire INEOS Grenadiers family is proud and delighted for Egan that his determination and application will now see him return to the race environment he has craved for so long."

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