Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal is responding well, and is conscious, following three “successful surgeries” to his spine, femur, right leg and chest, states the most recent medical report from the University Hospital La Sabana. The 25-year-old cyclist and winner of the 2019 Tour de France will, however, remain in intensive case after his accident Monday morning involving an inter-municipal bus.
Bernal, who was riding between his hometown of Zipaquira to Gachancipá, north of the capital, crashed into the back of a bus after the driver allegedly slammed his brakes to drop-off a passenger along the Bogotá-Tunja highway. The Attorney General’s Office has opened an investigation into the traffic accident.
A picture posted on social media at the scene of the collision shows Bernal lying by the side the road where he received treatment from his riding companions of team Ineos Grenadiers. According to the medical diagnosis, doctors were able to “pin his right leg and stabilise a displaced fracture” from the T5 to T6 vertebra. “Bernal is in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body’s response to the trauma,” reads an Ineos statement.
Bernal became the first Latin American rider to win the Tour de France, and youngest winner since 1909. In 2021, the Zipaquireño clinched his second Grand Tour win of Giro d’Italia.
The outpouring of support for Bernal has been overwhelming as the athlete faces at least a year out of the international riding circuit, and a “slow, complicated recovery,” believes Dr. Jaime Andrés Roa. “Because of the aerodynamic position he was in at the moment of impact, access to the brakes was complicated. He should have been cycling between 55 or 60 kilometers per hour.” Politicians from every party and movement, well-known artists and musicians, soccer players, and fellow cyclists have all sent “get well” messages on social media with hashtags #FuerzaEgan #EganBernal.