Egan Bernal to feature in Virtual Tour de France stage 3

2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) signs autographs for fans at the 2019 Natourcriterium Aalst post-Tour criterium
Reigning Tour de France champion Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) will dip his toe into the world of Zwift racing, taking part in stage 3 of the Virtual Tour de France on Saturday. 

Bernal is due to travel from Colombian to Europe to begin his preparations for his Tour de France defence next week on a special charter flight along with many of his compatriots who are returning to racing after a four-month layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bernal will race stage 3 with Ineos teammates Ethan Hayter, Christian Knees and Michal Golas.

The two stages this weekend are on the 'R.G.V' and 'Casse-Pattes' courses, both featuring several hundred metres of climbing over 48km and 45.8km on stages 3 and 4, respectively. 

Stage 1 winner Ryan Gibbons (NTT Pro Cycling) returns on stage 3 to help his team defend its overall lead along with Max Walscheid, Rasmus Tiller and Edvald Boasson Hagen, while women's leaders TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank come with Kirsten Faulkner – second on the opening stage – Nina Kessler, Emily Newsome and Kendall Ryan for stage 3.

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb), who showed his competitive streak with several strong performances in the Digital Swiss 5 virtual race earlier this year, will feature on stage 3 along with other notable riders such as Elia Viviani (Cofidis), Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic), and Belgian champion Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix).

Time trial world champion Chloé Dygert Owen (Twenty20) and junior world champion Megan Jastrab (Rally Cycling), Dutch champion Lorena Wiebes (Sunweb), US champion Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) and stage 1 winner April Tacey (Drops) also star in stage 3.

Sunday's stage 4 has a tougher climb closer to the finish and will be another test for TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank's Lauren Stephens, who leads the women's worldwide Zwift rankings. She'll face stiff competition from Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC Team) and Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), who is making her debut in the race.

The Virtual Tour de France is being run as a team competition, with each rider accumulating points toward their team's ranking. The races will be broadcast live and anyone can ride the course for stage 4 of the event on Zwift this weekend in any of the 16 time slots.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.