Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) will return to the peloton at the Tour of Denmark on Tuesday, less than seven months after his life-threatening crash.
Bernal suffered 20 different fractures after smashing into a parked bus in his native Colombia while training in January.
He underwent multiple surgeries and significant medical treatment after the incident, saying he felt “like being born again” after being discharged from hospital in February.
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“After what happened to me in January, this has been the moment I’ve been waiting for – to race with my team-mates again,” said Bernal.
“I can’t emphasise enough how hard the last months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey that I have been on since, will be a part of me forever, it’s something you never forget.
“As is the support that I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, Ineos, as well as my fans. As humans we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I can’t thank everyone who has been there for me enough.
“That support has been invaluable in motivating me every day to work hard to be able to race again. To you all, a heartfelt thank you."
Bernal has stated since the crash that doctors had given him a 95% chance of becoming paraplegic, paying tribute to medical staff for giving him a "second chance".
The 25-year-old secured the maglia rosa at last year's Giro d'Italia to add a second Grand Tour triumph to his 2019 Tour de France win.
“When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago, it's incredible the progress he has made,” said Ineos deputy team principal Rod Ellingworth.
“He’s shown the world the true strength of his character, and demonstrated remarkable grit in returning to race-readiness. We’re still on a journey with Egan, but lining up at the Tour of Denmark is a significant and hard-earned milestone.
"Egan’s long-term recovery has and continues to guide our medical and physical programme of support – our targets have always been performance-led, not race-led, and the entire Ineos Grenadiers family is proud and delighted for Egan that his determination and application will now see him return to the race environment he has craved for so long."
Bernal needs a Vuelta title to complete his set of Grand Tour wins, but the 2022 edition has come too soon as Richard Carapaz was named as the headline act in an exciting Ineos outfit in Spain.
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