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Medical reports reveal Bernal underwent successful surgery for a series of injuries, including a damaged lung, spinal trauma, and a broken patella and femur after he collided with a bus while training in Colombia on Monday.
“The neurosurgical intervention took place successfully,” read a statement from the local hospital that treated Bernal on Monday night.
“We expect its progressive development over the next 72 hours in the intensive care unit. Further, we will immediately begin the rehabilitation process to achieve the best possible results with our patient.”
La Clínica Universidad de La Sabana se permite informar sobre el estado de salud de Egan Bernal. Estaremos muy atentos a informarles sobre su evolución. pic.twitter.com/uYyzdBIhol
— Clínica Unisabana (@ClinicaUsabana) January 25, 2022
The reports confirm the worst suspicions that began circulating in the aftermath of the incident Monday, and most likely leave Bernal’s 2022 season in tatters.
Bernal, 25, had placed the Tour de France at the center of his season for 2022. As a former winner of the yellow jersey and the reigning Giro d’Italia champion, the Colombian was poised as the biggest threat to Tadej Pogačar and Primož Roglič’s dominance over the grand tour scene.
Bernal was eyeing 2022 with optimism after recently signing a contract extension stretching through 2026.
He had returned to top shape last year after seeming to shake the back problems that torpedoed his 2020 Tour campaign, lighting up the Giro before his series of dazzling duels with Roglič at the Vuelta a España.
“It is clear that we are going to focus all our preparation and efforts thinking about competing in the Tour de France,” Bernal had said last fall. “It is time to return to the path that we found in 2019 and from which we have separated a little.”
We can confirm Egan Bernal has been taken to hospital following a training accident on a Team camp in Colombia this morning.
We will provide a further update on Egan’s condition in due course.
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) January 24, 2022
The question now remains as to when, or if, Bernal will see racing in 2022.
His provisional program for the year saw a season debut at the Tour de la Provence in two weeks’ time before riding through the UAE Tour and Paris-Nice in the spring.
Ineos Grenadiers has yet to release a statement on their rider’s condition since he completed surgery. A note from the team soon after the accident Monday confirmed Bernal was stable ahead of going to theater.
Also read: Bernal hospitalized after training crash
“Bernal, who is at a team training camp near his hometown, was accompanied to the hospital by team medical staff and was conscious upon arrival,” read a statement from the team. “He is stable and undergoing further assessment.”
Images emerged Monday of the aftermath of the accident which occurred while Bernal and a half-dozen teammates were training on Colombian roads.
Photographs taken by onlookers show the battered rear panel of a bus which is reported to have stopped to let out a passenger.
Colombian radio BluRadio cited a police statement Monday saying Bernal “did not notice the stop, and struck the back of the bus.”
😨 Egan Bernal 🇨🇴 ACABA de sufrir un accidente mientras entrenaba en Colombia.
😥 Aun no hay mucha información, en cuanto sepa todo, os informo bien.
😃 La buena noticia: está fuera de peligro. pic.twitter.com/eztiUaXkIu
— Diego Vos ~ Ciclismo (@diegovos_) January 24, 2022
The accident occurred just days after footage circulated of Bernal and his teammates suffering a high-speed close pass while out training.