Colombian Egan Bernal (Ineos) will take the start of the Tour of Italy on Saturday with the status of potential final winner. But after a complicated 2020, the climber already wants to regain confidence.
Winner of the Tour de France 2019 at only 22 years old, Egan Bernal was to be the cador of the peloton for the next ten years. Except that in a few months, the Colombian has somewhat fallen into line.
Unable to clinch a major victory in 2020, except for the Route d’Occitanie, the climber of the Ineos-Grenadiers formation had given up on the Tour for back problems, and had witnessed from afar the explosion of an even earlier phenomenon, Tadej Pogacar.
If observers classify him among the favorites of the Giro 2021, which will start on Saturday from Turin, like Simon Yates, Mikel Landa or Romain Bardet, Bernal therefore wants to be quite cautious.
“I do everything to come back”
“It’s better than before, but I sometimes feel pain (in the back) on certain days, he explained before the big start, according to comments reported by Belga. For the Giro, I was able to accomplish the preparation that I wanted. First at altitude in Colombia then in Europe. I want to do well for my first participation. It’s a good race and we are going to the start with a strong team in order to obtain a good result. “
By qualifying: “I do not yet have the same legs or the same condition (as in 2019, editor’s note). But I want to find that. I have worked hard since last year. I am doing everything to come back. Last year was certainly not easy for me. I want to regain that confidence in the Giro. I’m very motivated. “
As for the comeback of the prodigy Remco Evenepoel, who could possibly annoy him in his quest for the pink jersey, the Colombian is not sure what to think. “We all know he is a strong rider, one of the best riders, with a great future, he said. But it will be his first Grand Tour. I hope he does good things, but I don’t know what I can expect. He hasn’t run yet and I don’t know what his condition is. I don’t care about others, I focus on myself and the team. “