In all fields of sports, a true champion always has the same characteristics: Intellectualism and luck. In the world cycling arena , now there is Egan Bernal. At the age of 22 years, nature and destiny helped him become the champion of the most prestigious race in the world: the Tour de France.
Entering the closing parade stage in Paris on Sunday (July 28), Egan Bernal recorded some history. He was the first Colombian rider to win the Tour de France. Born on January 13, 1997, he became the youngest champion in the modern era, the third youngest in history.
Amazingly, the way to become a champion really shows fate.
The first “road” was shown in May 2019. Supposedly, Bernal was the captain of Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) at Giro d’Italia. The England team wanted to give him a chance in Italy before becoming captain of the Tour de France, replacing Chris Froome.
A week before Giro, Bernal fell in training. His shoulder was broken. He was also absent from the opening grand tour. The program has changed. Team Ineos directed him to the Tour de France, but as an domestique or “helper” for Chris Froome and the defending champion, Geraint Thomas.
The second “road” is shown before the Tour de France begins. Chris Froome had a horror accident while taking part in the warm-up race, the Criterium du Dauphine, last June. He was seriously injured, must have missed the Tour de France (even until next year).
The Ineos team made a decision. Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal became “double captains.” Who is preferred depends on the results on the streets.
Then, nature gave the “road” on stage 19 of the 2019 Tour de France, last Friday (July 26).
Thomas tried to attack on the highest incline of the race, Col de l’Iseran. But competitors are able to stick. When Bernal attacked , he really moved away. Nothing can stick. Bernal even caught the breakaway racers in front, then knocked them off before the top of the climb.
When crossing the peak of Iseran, Bernal led the virtual general classification (GC). If he is able to maintain his distance to finish, he wins the yellow jersey from Julian Alaphilippe’s body (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
Then, miraculously, snowfall hit the final part of the stage. Slippery road plus landslides make ASO (race organizer) have to stop the stage. There are officially no champions, but the GC standings were taken from the last results at the top of Iseran.
Egan Bernal also won yellow .
The threat of weather again made Stage 20, the cover stage, must be drastically trimmed. From 130 km to only 59 km. On the one hand, this makes Bernal’s road even smoother. There is not enough way for competitors to carry out deadly attacks.
Plus, Bernal was not tense at all about the greatest moment of his life. When interviewed by television before the start of Stage 20, Bernal claimed to be “mediocre.” He was not disturbed the night before. “I slept well, a total of nine hours,” he said in good English, with the right choice of words (showing intellectuality).
And at Stage 20, Bernal was able to maintain yellow convincingly. Don’t panic Not carelessly. He did not win a stage at the 2019 Tour de France, but he was the most consistent and strong for three weeks.
As a bonus, he also won the white jersey as the best young driver (U25). Plus, he finished second in mountain classification , narrowly defeated (86-78 points) from Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale). If Stage 19 wasn’t stopped before the closing climb, it was quite possible that Bernal would win the polka dots jersey !