Egan Bernal says he is “super happy to be racing again” after making his return to cycling seven months after a life-threatening accident.
Bernal suffered a big crash in January which put him in intensive car with several surgeries required as he suffered 20 fractures including a fractured vertebrae.
The Ineos Grenadiers rider made his comeback on Tuesday at the Tour of Denmark, finishing two minutes behind Stage 1 winner Olav Kooij.
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Bernal led the peloton during the early stages of the race before sitting in the bunch and being dropped towards the end.
"I'm super happy to be racing again. I'm hoping to go all the way and help the team here," said Bernal.
"I'm just getting back into the rhythm. I am regaining my confidence."
What happened to Bernal?
During a training ride in his native Colombia in January, Bernal hit a parked bus at high speed which injured his back, knee, leg and chest.
Initially, he was warned there was a 95% chance he would be paralyzed, but underwent two successful surgeries.
"I almost died but I thank God for this test,” said Bernal on his return to cycling.
"After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I've been waiting for - to race with my team-mates again."
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The Tour of Denmark resumes on Wednesday where riders will tackle a 12.2km individual time trial in Assens.
Bernal will be one of the early starters, with British team-mate Geraint Thomas one of the favourites for victory in the time trial.
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Bernal makes remarkable return at Tour of Denmark as Kooij wins Stage 1
Bernal to return to racing – just seven months after life-threatening crash
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