A good two weeks after his serious training accident and a total of five operations, former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal left the hospital.
The treating La Sabana University Hospital near the Colombian capital Bogota confirmed the discharge of their prominent patient and published a video of Bernal leaving the hospital with a neck brace and accompanied by two members of the nursing staff. “Coming back to life is like a rebirth for me,” Bernal explained in the short film.
Bernal said he “almost died” in the crash during a training session for his Ineos Grenadiers team. The 25-year-old Colombian suffered fractures to a cervical and two thoracic vertebrae, eleven ribs and a kneecap in the collision with a bus that suddenly stopped. In addition, his lungs had collapsed and a tooth had been knocked out. In the meantime, a paraplegia is said to have threatened. Last year’s Giro d’Italia winner had to undergo surgery a total of five times. “He is now able to begin his rehabilitation process,” the clinic said.
A few days before he was released from the hospital, Bernal himself had rated the coming weeks as “the toughest race” of his life. But he was “thank God that he imposed this test on me,” wrote Bernal on social networks for a photo with the ruff and additional hose connections.
At the same time, Bernal was optimistic about his sporting future: “It seems that everything went well. Now I have to recover and work on my comeback.”
Just a short time before his accident, Bernal had renewed his contract with his British team and announced his participation in this year’s Tour de France. Whether Bernal, who left the Grand Boucle in 2020 the year after his tour success due to back problems and gave up the tour last year in favor of his Giro debut, will be fit by the time the tour starts on July 1 in Copenhagen, is currently being revealed open minded.