The Colombian recently won his first professional title in the World Tour in the Tour of California, a feat considering the rivals he faced
Egan Bernal is synonymous with victory, and once again he proved it in the most recent dispute of the Tour of California, an event that the Colombian cyclist attended as leader of the British team SKY and in which he ended up overwhelming all his rivals. Bernal strengthens the theory that Latin American cycling is growing by leaps and bounds, mainly in Colombia, to compete face to face with Europe, which has in Peter Sagan, Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, and Alejandro Valverde among others, its maximum representatives.
There are many Latinos whose name begins to stand out. It is not only Nairo Quintana, but also his countrymen Fernando Gaviria (as far as speed is concerned), Bernal, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, and the Argentine Maximiliano Richeze. However, today we want to talk specifically about Bernal, baptized as the 'Wonder Child'. With just 21 years old, Bernal not only proclaimed champion of the World Tour event in which some of the best riders of the planet were, but he also conquered the only two mountain stages, winning the jersey by points, and the jersey of the young competitors. Bernal achieved all these accomplishments just three months after the fractured clavicle he suffered in the last Tour of Catalonia, where if it had not been for an accident on the last day, he would have finished the event's champion.
The success story within what is going to this 2018 does not end there. With the conquest of the Tour of California, Bernal reached eight wins so far this season, which include the title of Colombia Gold and Peace, the time trial of the national route, and the runner-up of the Vuelta a Romandía. Now, after all this dizzying display of the beetle, many of the readers will ask themselves, where did this marvelous corridor come from? Who is Egan Bernal? Where could he go with his talent?
The conception of the wonder child
Egan Bernal started in the cycling world thanks to his father, Germán Bernal, who was also a specialist in the cycling route. The fact that his father was a cyclist motivated Bernal to quickly become interested in the passion of the bicycle. The Colombian began the practice of this sport at the age of eight in the town of Zipaquirá, a sector at the north of Bogotá, Colombia, where he already showed his tenacity and natural talent.
Subsequently, in 2011, Bernal began his period in mountain biking, in which from the start he became a benchmark of the discipline. So much so, that he won national championships, Pan-American event, and even world cups in the various categories in which he competed, always being above all his rivals.
From there, and after being seen by the experienced Italian coach Gianni Savio -known for projecting young Latino riders such as the Venezuelans Leonardo Sierra, José Rujano and the Colombians José Serpa, Iván Parra and Freddy González-, Egan finally got a contract for four years with the Androni-Giocattolli team.
Savio welcomed him into the club, and after delivering impressive results in the maximum oxygen consumption tests (VO2Max), even surpassing numbers like the ones of Miguel Induráin, Bernal was allowed to be a leader of the Italian cast for important competitions. Bernal of course did not fail and won the Tour de L'Avenir last year, in just its premiere.
After that moment what is known is a bit cooler in everyone's memory. Team SKY negotiated with Savio to take him into their ranks. They put him close to Chris Froome, with whom he has always gotten along, and also gave him the opportunity to be one of the referents of the club, even over many good climbers who by hierarchy could have more options than him.
The Tour in the sights
What is coming from now for Egan is a leap of responsibility within his young professional career, because if everything goes well and he does not suffer any injuries, the SKY has already advanced that he could be one of the leaders, even next to Froome, within the upcoming Tour de France dispute.
Latin American Post | Freddy González
Translated from “Latinoamérica amenaza a Europa en el ciclismo: el colombiano Egan Bernal sorprende con su talento”