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‘Egan Bernal is in a bloody good place mentally,’ says Rod Ellingworth

Now back in Europe, the former Tour de France winner is training again with his Ineos teammates.

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Now back in Europe and training on the roads around Nice with his Ineos Grenadiers teammates, Egan Bernal has stepped up his rehab after the horror crash in January that left him in a critical condition.

Bernal still has no date set for his competitive return and his team is reluctant to share any potential options in terms of race calendars and targets in order to free their main grand tour rider from any pressure.

However, according to Rod Ellingworth, the 2019 Tour de France winner is hungrier than ever to return to action and is in a “bloody good place mentally” as he proceeds with his rehabilitation.

“There is no set date. Our last conversation was about taking it day by day. He’s doing really well, he’s going better than expected and he’s happy to be back in Europe. He’s training with the riders on certain days and he’s able to go on the bike with them but he’s still in rehab and there is no date,” Ellingworth told VeloNews from the Giro d’Italia.

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“He’s quite determined to come back and race before the end of the year but we don’t have a date at all. Nothing at all and it would be unrealistic to think so.

“What I’ve been saying to him is to take it step-by-step and day-by-day, and he’s moving forwards. Mentally he’s in a bloody good place.”

Ineos is no stranger to helping riders through major injuries. Chris Froome had a similarly devastating crash in 2019 during the Criterium du Dauphine while he was an Ineos rider and Luke Rowe shattered his right leg in an off-the-bike incident during his brother’s stag weekend in 2017.

According to Ellingworth, who still manages Rowe at Ineos, Bernal has the possibility of coming back as an even stronger person than before, because of what he has been through.

“I think we’ve said this before but sometimes when you see these guys have a big accident it puts a bit of perspective on their lives. I’ve not spoken to him about this but when I spoke to Luke Rowe and Chris Froome after their accidents, it puts a new perspective on life and you look at things a bit differently. It can make them a bit stronger in a way,” Ellingworth said.

“Egan is also one of these characters who isn’t sitting still and letting it happen. He’s working hard and fair play to him.”

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