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Bernal to ride Clasica San Sebastian after string of Tour de France criteriums

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) celebrates Tour de France victory on stage 21

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) celebrates Tour de France victory on stage 21
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Team Ineos have confirmed that Tour de France winner Egan Bernal will ride the Clásica San Sebastián WorldTour race on Saturday before he heads home to Colombia for official celebrations of him becoming the first ever Colombian Tour de France winner. Bernal will have support from Wout Poels, Ivan Sosa, Jonathan Castroviejo, Eddie Dunbar, Kenny Elissonde and David De la Cruz.

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Mikel Landa (Movistar) and Adam and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) will all head to the Basque Country for the hilly one-day race.

Bernal crashed out of the 2018 Clásica San Sebastián, suffering a serious facial trauma and a blow to the head which kept him out of action for two months.

It is unclear if Bernal can fight for victory at the Clásica San Sebastián. He has raced every day since winning the Tour de France in Paris on Sunday and won the Criterium de Acht van Chaam in the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

Post-Tour de France criteriums are more like exhibition matches than real races, with reports suggesting Bernal is collecting a fee of around 50,000 Euro for each appearance. Bernal has been racing with Team Ineos teammate Jonathan Castroviejo, along with other selected riders.

Bernal ‘won’ the Criterium de Acht van Chaam in a two-up sprint, beating Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), who finished third overall in the Tour de France. Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) won the women’s race.

Before the Roeselare criterium, Bernal was given a beer, a jar of Nutella and some local frits.

"Maybe I shouldn't have eaten a packet of fries just before the start because it was a bit heavy on the stomach when we had to open the throttle,” he joked afterwards.

“I will be heading home soon and will continue to enjoy my victory in the Tour there. I also expect a big party in my home country."

According to reports in Colombia, Bernal is expected to travel home for a hero's welcome next Tuesday or Wednesday.

He is likely to meet the Colombian president Ivan Duque in the Colombian capital Bogota to receive the Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit. Another celebration is expected in his home town of Zipaquirá, 40km outside the capital.