Egan Bernal will no longer be in action this year. The 22-year-old INEOS rider has not yet recovered from the physical discomfort he suffered during the last Tour de France, he says on Instagram.
Bernal left the Tour with back problems last month before the start of the seventeenth stage and has not raced since then. He was still on the provisional list of participants of the Flèche Wallonne a week and a half ago, but he eventually withdrew.
The Colombian says that he will fully focus on his recovery in the coming period and will not return to the peloton until 2021. “I have to accept it,” said Bernal. “These inconveniences motivate me to work even harder. I want to feel good and pain-free again on the bike. You learn more from the bad moments than the good ones, that’s for sure.”
The 22-year-old Bernal triumphed last year as the youngest winner in 110 years in the Tour de France. This year, the overall victory went to Tadej Pogacar, who rode out of the yellow jersey in the penultimate stage Primoz Roglic of Jumbo-Visma.
The longer absence is another setback for INEOS. The British formation saw leader Geraint Thomas drop out in the Giro d’Italia this week. The 2018 Tour winner was found to have broken his pelvis in a fall over a rolling water bottle.