Bernal has nose and mouth surgery after San Sebastian crash

Colombian forced to rest for at least three weeks after suffering small bleed on the brain

Egan Bernal has undergone surgery on his nose and mouth after his crash at Saturday’s Clasica San Sebastian. The young Team Sky rider was caught up in a high-speed crash in the final 20 kilometres of the one-day race and also suffered a bleed on the brain, which means that he will have to take at least three weeks off the bike.

Movistar’s Mikel Landa was also seriously injured in the accident, fracturing his L1 vertebra, and has been told to rest for two to three weeks.

Bernal was treated roadside by the race doctors before he was taken to hospital for tests to ascertain the extent of his injuries. He was diagnosed with a fractured nose and a maxillary injury, plus some superficial scrapes and cuts. The 21 year-old Colombian was kept in hospital under observation due to his injuries. He has since undergone two surgeries on his face but will still need further surgery, having lost a number of teeth in the crash.

On Sunday, Bernal and his girlfriend posted photos and updates of Bernal’s progress on social media. The pictures did not show the full extent of Bernal’s injuries, but his swollen and cut mouth can be seen.

“Thank you to all the people that have been waiting and have sent me messages of support,” Bernal wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening.

“Yesterday, my fall was quite hard but I have already had an operation on the nose and mouth, now I have to put in a pair of teeth that fell out. But, well… patience.”

Team Sky confirmed later on Monday that Bernal had been discharged from hospital following the surgery. They also revealed that Bernal had suffered a small bleed on the brain following the incident. 

"Egan underwent surgery on Saturday night to repair his top lip, which was split in the crash, and to reduce his nasal fracture," a statement said. "He will undergo dental surgery in the coming weeks to repair a number of missing, broken and fractured teeth. Egan will rest completely for at least three weeks after also suffering a small bleed on the brain during the crash."

Bernal had hoped to ride the Vuelta a Espana later this month but it is more than likely he will have to miss the race. It is the Colombian’s second major crash this season after he fractured his shoulder and collarbone in a fall on the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Despite the injuries, Bernal has impressed in his debut season at WorldTour level with Team Sky, winning the Tour of California, along with two stages, and taking second at the Tour de Romandie. He made his Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France last month and finished 15th overall as he supported teammate Geraint Thomas to overall victory.

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