Bernal diagnosed with shoulder fractures after Catalunya crash

'I know it could have been a lot worse' says Team Sky rider

Team Sky have confirmed that Egan Bernal has suffered clavicular and scapular fractures when he crashed during the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya on Sunday.

Bernal fell heavily at speed, six kilometres from the finish line in Montjuic Park on a sweeping downhill left hand bend. The crash happened when Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) slipped on a patch of oil on the road. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) was also caught up in the crash, although both Martin and Rojas got up to finish the stage.

Bernal was more seriously hurt and was taken to hospital, meaning he lost his second place overall behind Alejandro Valverde at the Volta a Catalunya after challenging the Movistar rider all week.

Despite crashing out of the race and not knowing how long he will be away from racing, Bernal tried to stay upbeat, focusing on his breakthrough performance in the WorldTour stage race rather than his injuries. Still only 21, Bernal won the Colombia Oro y Paz race in February, beating Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran. 

"Obviously, I’m a little disappointed because it could have been my first WorldTour podium and I’m sad because I felt really good and strong until the last day. But the team gave me so much confidence throughout the race and my teammates did a great job all week. That’s left me really happy," he said on the Team Sky website.

"I already feel a little better today (Monday) and I feel relatively good, because it was a strong blow and I know it could have been a lot worse.

"It’s important to think positively now and prepare myself for my next block of racing. I don’t know exactly how long the recovery period will be, but at the moment I’m focusing on resting and recovering well."

Team Sky Doctor Iñigo Sarriegui explained Bernal’s injuries further, explaining that it was important not to rush to a conclusion.

"Egan obviously took a heavy impact on his shoulder and we wanted to make sure we took time to get that properly checked out," he said.

"Unfortunately, he has sustained a clavicular and small scapular fracture and so we’ll be making sure we get specialist opinion on the best next steps for Egan’s recovery and rehabilitation."

Bernal was not due to ride the Giro d’Italia alongside Chris Froome and so has time to make a full recovery before returning to racing.

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