Egan Bernal aiming at Tour de France victory in 2022

The former winner abandoned last time he raced the Grande Boucle in 2020

Egan Bernal at the Klasikoa Donostia 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal has confirmed he wants to return to the Tour de France for the first time since abandoning the race in 2020 with back pain. 

Since then, Bernal has gone on to win the Giro d'Italia, take sixth overall at the Vuelta a España and third in Strade Bianche, as well as a number of other top level results. 

However, Bernal and his Ineos Grenadiers team-mates are yet to beat their Slovenian rivals Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) with the former taking two Tour de France titles in a row over 2020 and 2021.

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When asked if he would be at the Tour by Mundo Ciclístico Magazine (opens in new tab) at an event in Colombia, Bernal said: "The answer is yes. It is clear that we are going to focus all our preparation and efforts thinking about competing in the Tour de France this year. It is time to return to the path that we found in 2019 and from which we have separated a little."

Since Bernal's win in 2019, which followed almost an entire decade of dominance by his team with Chris Froome winning four times as well as victories for Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas in 2012 and 2018 respectively, Ineos haven't hit the same heights.

Bernal failed in 2020 with Richard Carapaz stepping up to take a very creditable third overall behind Pogačar and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

The injury that plagued his 2020 season is, according to Bernal, seemingly behind him: "I think I have fully recovered, but nevertheless we have been monitoring the evolution through physiotherapy sessions, strengthening in the gym, and I’m hoping to start the cycling year and continue without anything that could affect my performance on the bike."

The 24-year-old is likely going to come up against Pogačar and Roglič once again at the Tour as Ineos Grenadiers look to triumph ahead of the Slovenian duo.

Mauro Vegni, director of the Giro d'Italia, is still trying to lure Pogačar to race his race before then trying to win the Tour saying: "It’s time for a rider to win the Giro-Tour double".

The Tour de France begins on Friday, July 1 2022 with the race ending three weeks later on Sunday, July 24 2022. The race begins with a three-stage Grand Départ in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

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