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Egan Bernal awake and talking as recovery from crash and surgery continues

Team Ineos rider Colombias Egan Bernal rides during the 15th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 175 km between Lyon and Grand Colombier on September 13 2020 Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARDAFP via Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Egan Bernal continues to respond well after his terrible training crash and subsequent surgery on his fractured femur, knee and vertebrae, with his family visiting him in hospital and the Colombian rider even able to call his agent.   

Doctors at the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana in Bogota have said that the Ineos Grenadiers rider’s recovery  “continued with a favorable evolution.”

They added: “The treatment plan has focused on pain management and taking new diagnostic control images, which confirm the excellent result of spinal surgery. On the other hand, his lungs have adequately re-expanded.

“Additionally, we have started nutritional support together with the intervention of our rehabilitation service. We will continue to provide Egan with the best specialists and look forward to his speedy recovery. We will continue to accompany the patient and his family, in care and attention.”

Bernal’s former partner Xiomy Guerrero, who now looks after his communications, tweeted:  “Faith, prayers and good energy give results” 

Bernal's mother Marina Flor Gomez and his younger brother have been able to visit him in hospital. She posted an Instagram story with several photos of her son as a child and wrote: "My happiness can be compared to what I felt 25 years ago because I felt that my son was born again."

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Bernal was even able to call his agent Giuseppe Acquadro from the hospital. 

“He told me was in a lot of pain. I said I’d perhaps come to see him and he responded: ‘Perhaps I’ll come over to Europe!’ He also asked me about Marco Pantani’s accident and I reminded him that a few years after his accident, Pantani won the Giro and the Tour.” 

Pantani and Bernal share the same January 13th birthday and Bernal has always admired the Italian’s attacking style in the mountains.  

Bernal has been in the intensive care unit of the Clínica Universidad de La Sabana since Monday after he collided with a bus that stopped to drop off passengers. He was riding his time trial bike on the highway just ahead of several Ineos Grenadiers teammates, including Richard Carapaz.     

He hit the rear of the bus at a reported 60kph and fractured vertebrae, his right femur, his right patella and ribs, as well as suffering chest trauma and a punctured lung.

He was successfully extubated Tuesday, and doctors confirmed that he could move all four of his extremities. He could leave intensive care on Thursday but will likely stay in hospital before starting a long phase of rehabilitation. 

Colombian police have opened an official inquiry into the crash, according to local media.

According to local police, Bernal did not see the bus, which was apparently stopped on the right-hand side of the road.

"Ineos were training with Egan Bernal, and they came across a bus parked on the verge on the right-hand side. Unfortunately, the cyclist did not see it and collided with it," Colonel Juan Carlos Castro told local media. 

"The driver’s papers were in order, the bus and the breathalyzer test was negative. According to article 2 of Law 769, any vehicle is allowed to make transitory stops on these segments of the road, as in this case, where the driver stopped to drop off a passenger."

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Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.