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Egan Bernal, busy filling his social media account with vacation bliss, vows to come out swinging in 2023.
After returning to racing in August this season, Bernal’s early 2023 calendar is already taking shape.
Ineos Grenadiers sport director Matteo Tosatto tells La Gazzetta dello Sport that Bernal wants to race often and early to open 2023.
“He’s looking good, very determined,” Tosatto told the Italian sport daily. “He told me in Nice, ‘I want to begin the season like I always have, like a true racer, not like an injured rider only thinking about the pain that he feels. I want to return to be who I was before.”
Bernal, 25, raced two stage races at Denmark and Germany and some one-days in his high-profile return to racing in 2022.
The Colombian Tour and Giro d’Italia winner saw devastating injuries last winter when he collided into a parked transit bus during a training ride with Ineos Grenadiers teammates in Colombia last January.
Doctors feared the worst, but Bernal surpassed expectations not only to have a fully physical recovery, but to return to racing this season.
Bernal underwent more surgery since returning home, but doctors and trainers believe the worse is behind him.
Tosatto hinted that barring any changes Bernal will debut his 2023 season at the Tour de San Juan (January 22-29), along with Ineos Grenadiers teammate Filippo Ganna.
Tosatto said it’s too early to speak about which grand tour Bernal might race in 2023. With a Giro and Tour already on his palmarès, some suggest Bernal might target the Vuelta a España as he continues his road to full recovery.
“Egan needs to build his resistance and find some race rhythm in his legs,” Tosatto said. “So it’s likely he will do some of the early season races of five or six days to recover well, like Algarve, Ruta del Sol, Valenciana or the UAE Tour.”