Former Tour de France champ Bernal hospitalized after crash
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal broke his femur and kneecap in a training accident Monday and underwent surgery to repair the damage, a hospital near Colombia’s capital said.
In a statement, the University of La Sabana Hospital said Bernal received reconstructive surgery on his right leg. It said he also had sustained injuries to his chest and neck.
Bernal collided with a bus parked on a roadside outside Bogota on Monday morning while training with his team Ineos Grenadiers, police said. They said the accident was under investigation.
Bernal had been training with several members of his team recently near his hometown of Zipaquira, which is 2,650 meters (8,600 feet) above sea level. He was preparing for the Tour de France in July, but experts said he might not be able to recover in time for the race.
The bicycle racer is a beloved celebrity in Colombia, and President Ivan Duque went on social medial to wish Bernal a speedy recovery. Local news channels reported extensively on the accident, with some outlets showing pictures of Bernal lying next to his bike below a red bus.
Bernal won the Tour de France in 2019 at age 21, becoming one of the youngest riders to win the prestigious race. He also claimed the Giro d’Italia title last year.