Bernal vows to win 'toughest race' after undergoing more spinal surgery

By Sports Desk February 03, 2022

Egan Bernal has come through a second spinal operation after the crash he believes almost killed him, and the former Tour de France winner declared on Thursday: "Let's rock."

With a long way to go before he gets on a bike again, Bernal managed to sound an optimistic note from his hospital bed.

The INEOS Grenadiers rider was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia last week.

Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France champion and victor of the 2021 Giro d'Italia, struck a parked bus at high speed while riding his time trial bike.

He underwent surgery soon after the collision, and a further operation on his spine was required on Wednesday.

Bernal, who said this was proving to be his "toughest race", said it would be the last major operation he faces.

The hospital treating Bernal – the Clinica Universidad de la Sabana – said: "The objectives of biomechanical stability of the cervical spine were achieved with excellent clinical results, without presenting complications during surgery."

Bernal catalogued his list of injuries in an Instagram post on Thursday, before setting his sights on a return to the saddle.

He wrote: "Nearly 20 broken bones. 11 ribs. Femur. Ball joint. T5-T6. Odontoids. Metacarpal. A thumb. I lost a tooth. Perforation of both lungs.

"I almost killed myself, but you know what? I am grateful to God for putting me through this test. It is being the toughest race, but I have had a group of excellent people around me.

"Yesterday I had my last major surgery and everything seems to have gone well. So now to recover and make this another... I'M BACK!! And let's rock."

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