Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal, 2019 Tour de France champion, announced this Saturday that he will no longer compete for the remainder of 2020 and will focus on recovering from the lumbar ailments that have afflicted him in recent months.
“I want to tell you that I am not going to compete again this year,” said the 23-year-old Ineos cyclist in a message posted on his Instagram account.
“After the health problems I had in the Tour De France, I have been 100% focused on my recovery and return to competition in 2021,” the Grande Boucle champion explained in his 2019 edition.
Bernal, one of the youngest champions in Tour history, had just abandoned his defense of the yellow jersey with four stages remaining in Paris.
Affected by back pain in his preparation for the Tour, the team leader Ineos Grenadiers had a performance that was far from what was expected: by the time of his retirement he was 16th overall at 19:04 behind the leader.
The also champion of the Vuelta a Suiza 2019 thus ruled out his participation in the Vuelta España 2020, which will be run in November and will be the last great lap of a cycling calendar disrupted by the pandemic.
The Colombian, who has a contract with Ineos until 2023, assured that, after leaving the Tour, he has lived “difficult moments” but hopes to feel “good on the bike, free of pain”.