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Messages of support for Egan Bernal flood in from pro peloton and beyond

Team Ineos rider Colombias Daniel Martinez R encourages his teammate overall leader Team Ineos rider Colombias Egan Bernal as they ride in the last ascent during the 17th stage of the Giro dItalia 2021 cycling race 193km between Canazei and Sega di Ala on May 26 2021 Photo by Luca Bettini POOL AFP Photo by LUCA BETTINIPOOLAFP via Getty Images
Daniel Martinez urged Egan Bernal on during a moment of crisis at the Giro, and issued a different message of support on Monday (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

As he lies in intensive care following a series of major surgeries, Egan Bernal has received well wishes from across the professional peloton and beyond. 

The Ineos Grenadiers rider suffered multiple injuries when he crashed into the back of a bus while training with teammates in Colombia on Monday morning

Soon after the crash there were reports of ‘minor injuries’ in the Colombian media, but it soon emerged that the former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia champion was facing something far more serious. It was confirmed that he had fractured his femur and kneecap, but the worst was still to come, as the Bogota hospital where he was treated detailed injuries to his spine and chest. 

After undergoing orthopaedic surgery to fix his broken leg and kneecap, plus a collapsed lung, he was taken into theatre by neurosurgeons. According to the hospital, the procedure was a ‘success’, with Bernal apparently avoiding any permanent damage to his spinal cord at this point. 

As Bernal faced surgery, a string of messages of support flooded in on social media. His teammates and fellow Colombian riders expressed their well wishes, but so did his rivals and other major figures in the sport. 

The support extended beyond the cycling world, with footballer Radamel Falcao - one of Colombia’s biggest sport stars - chipping in. It also went beyond the sporting world, as Colombia’s president, Iván Duque, issued a message of hope that Bernal could recover and carry on ‘reaping triumphs for Colombia’.

Many of the messages on social media were accompanied by the hashtag #FuerzaEgan. Scroll down for a selection of the messages.

Teammate and domestique Daniel Martínez posted this iconic shot of him roaring on Bernal during a moment of crisis at last year's Giro d'Italia. "Today more than ever I'm wishing you the best," Martínez wrote. "[Hope] you recover soon and you put on a show again, as you know how."

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Falcao wrote: "[Wishing] a speedy and successful recovery for Egan Bernal. All of Colombia is with you at this painful moment. Let's protect and look after cyclists on all roads in Colombia."

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The Colombian president wrote: "To our beloved champion, Egan Bernal, we wish you a speedy recovery after the accident you. suffered while training with teammates. We trust that your state of health will progress satisfactorily and that you can carry on reaping triumphs for Colombia."

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Fellow Colombian rider Rigoberto Urán (EF-EasyPost) said that Bernal was in "a race that you're going to win", while Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) said he was "conscious of what this type of situation entails but I also know that it's always possible to pick yourself up and carry on with greater strength". 

Miguel Ángel López (Astana-Qazakstan) noted that "our profession entails many risks" as he too wished Bernal a speedy recovery. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sent "a strong hug from Spain" and hoped to see the "champion" back at the races soon.

As well as the messages from the Spanish speaking world, there were many from further afield.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.