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Back from the brink: Egan Bernal defies odds to return at Tour of Denmark

The Colombian played a domestique role for his teammate after easing back into the peloton for the first time in 11 months.

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Nearly a year after he last pinned on a number, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) made his long-awaited return to the peloton at the Tour of Denmark on Tuesday.

The Colombian eased his way in and spent part of the day working on the front of the peloton for his teammate Jhonatan Narvaez.

He eventually eased up from the main bunch with less than 10 kilometers remaining and rolled across the line with teammate Michał Kwiatkowski in a group that was just over two minutes behind the day’s winner Olav Kooij.

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Bernal had not competed in 11 months, since the 2021 Vuelta a España, after being involved in a high-speed crash in January that left him hospitalized.

He was training with teammates in Colombia when he collided with a bus, breaking more than 20 bones, including two vertebrae, his patella, and femur. Bernal had multiple surgeries following the crash and spent several days in the hospital.

Bernal was able to ride his bike again for the first time in March but did so on his indoor trainer at first. Speculation about his potential return has been rife since then but the Colombian and his team have bided their time with his recovery.

There were rumors about a start at the Deutschland Tour later this month. However, Ineos Grenadiers announced Monday that he would be racing in Denmark this week.