These are the Colombian cyclists who will take the reins while Egan Bernal recovers from his recent accident
LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño
On January 24, terrible news shook the world of Colombian sports. Egan Bernal, the most talented young cyclist in the coffee country, was run over on the roads north of Cundinamarca, a department of the country.
Bernal collided with an inter-municipal public transport vehicle that was parked in the El Roble toll sector, in the town of Gachancipá. The cyclist was transferred to the Universidad de la Sabana Clinic where he was treated for two weeks for almost 20 broken bones, including 11 ribs, femur, patella, T5-T6, odontoids, metacarpal, and a thumb.
Egan is out of the hospital now, but his future as a cyclist is uncertain. For now, the estimated time of his recovery is not known, much less his return to competition. Of course, it is known that it will be at least several months, considering the extent of his injuries.
In the shoes of a great
Knowing that Egan's recovery is far away, we decided to put together a shortlist of cyclists who could serve to replace him as the next Ascolombian while he returns.
We can start with the veteran champion Nairo Quintana, who started 2022 with good results, being crowned champion of the Tour de la Provence. Already 32 years old, he is not exactly at his athletic peak but he could give us some surprises as the year progresses. However, with two great laps under his belt, Nairo is the cyclist who comes closest to Egan's greatness in the country.
Another veteran who has started the year is Fernando Gaviria, the 27-year-old sprinter from La Ceja. Gaviria won the first stage of the Tour of Oman, achieving a victory that had eluded him for a long time. Gaviria normally starts the year strong but loses momentum as the season lengthens. How will it go this time?
Another who has stood out so far in 2022 is Juan Sebastián Molano, who finished second in the Playa de Palma Trophy and has generally risen like a comet in the cycling rankings in the last 12 months. Last year he was ranked 206th in the world and this year he is 135th. He is yet to get his first major victory but with the experience, he has been gaining this could be his year.
Rigoberto Urán must also be included in this list. “Rigo” has yet to make his mark this year, but last year he finished second in the Tour de Suisse and seventh in the Tour de France, so he still has what it takes to surprise us.
Finally, it is worth mentioning a young man who has been climbing the ranks, almost unnoticed, in the international rankings. This is the 22-year-old Santiago Buitrago from Bogota, who over the last two years has scored several important results. Buitrago finished second in the Saudi Tour as well as the second stage of this event.