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Egan Bernal: I want to win all three Grand Tours

ZIPAQUIR COLOMBIA FEBRUARY 15 Start Egan Arley Bernal Gomez of Colombia and Team INEOS during the 3rd Tour of Colombia 2020 Stage 5 a 1805km stage from Paipa to Zipaquir TourColombiaUCI TourColombia2020 on February 15 2020 in Zipaquir Colombia Photo by Maximiliano BlancoGetty Images
Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) in his hometown of Zipaquirá at the 2020 Tour Colombia 2.1 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Reigning Tour de France champion Egan Bernal has stated his ambition to join the select club of riders who have won each of the three Grand Tours. The Colombian, who last year became the first rider from his country to win the Tour, has yet to race either the Giro d'Italia or Vuelta a España.

Only seven riders have achieved the feat in the history of cycling to date – Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome.

Bernal's compatriot, Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) is the active rider closest to completing the Grand Tour triple, having won the Giro and Vuelta while finishing second in the Tour on two occasions.

"I want to win the three Grand Tours," Bernal said in an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa. Since moving to Team Ineos from Androni Giocattoli in 2018, the 23-year-old has competed at two Tours de France and is set to target is again this year.

Despite the condensed post-COVID-19 calendar, Bernal could feasibly target a Tour-Vuelta double this season, though he has previously indicated that he won't ride the Vuelta this year. Bernal is, however, set to target the Giro d'Italia next season.

"It is a race that is very close to my heart," he said of the race. "If I participate, it is to win. Then I want to do the same in the Vuelta a España. I think it would be great to win all three of them and be a part of the history of the sport."

This September, Bernal is set to form part of a three-pronged Ineos leadership team at the Tour de France, with past winners Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas likely the second and third favourites for victory behind him.

There has already been much talk of who will eventually lead the British team, with a recent statement from the team indicating that a decision will come nearer the race, which is set to kick off on August 29.

With the threat of not leading the squad in France, four-time winner Chris Froome has been linked with a mid-season transfer, while the Brit's ex-rival Alberto Contador has mused that the rise of Bernal is behind a potential Froome move. For his part, Bernal said that the parcours will make the decision in France, and that he has a good relationship with his co-leaders.

"I have an excellent relationship with Froome and Thomas," Bernal said. "We behave honestly and sincerely, like real professionals. As always, the course will be decisive. I have a lot of confidence in the team and in the strategy that should take us to victory."

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Daniel Ostanek
Daniel Ostanek

Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.

 

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.

 

As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.