Egan Bernal has paid tribute to a 13-year-old fan who was killed by a truck while cycling in Colombia.
Julián Esteban Gómez became a famous face around the world in 2019, after he was filmed crying as Egan Bernal made history by becoming the first Colombian to win the Tour de France.
On Monday (July 19), news emerged that Julián had died after he was hit by a truck while cycling north of the Colombian capital Bogotá.
Julián’s uncle Guillermo Caicedo told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that he and Julián were cycling in the Cundinamarca department, north of the capital, on the road between Zipaquirá (home of Egan Bernal) and Cajicá, when a tractor-trailer came up behind them.
Caicedo said the truck got close to the two riders and was beeping his horn, causing Julian to become nervous, when the teen lost his balance and fell under the wheels of the vehicle.
Hoy lloramos por ti Julián, el verdadero Orgullo de mi patria🙏🏽. pic.twitter.com/ycyBquj2vVJuly 19, 2021
Julian had dreamed of becoming a professional cyclist.
His uncle said: "I wanted him to fulfil his dreams and he would ask me questions about cycling, I would teach him.
"He was a child who had dreams of being a great athlete.”
The coach of Julián’s cycling team, Fabio Rodriguez, said: “Today you are leaving without being able to fulfil your dreams.
“Only 13 years old and a driver takes your life. Your early departure breaks my heart. It only remains for me to tell you that I will miss you forever, my dear Julián.”
Julián’s face became well known in Colombia and around the world after he was filmed in tears, as Egan Bernal claimed the yellow jersey in the 2019 Tour de France, becoming the first Colombian to ever reach the top step of the Tour.
Julián said at the time: “It was a great emotion to see him again. Egan is our idol.
“It was emotional to see him because I also ride a bike and I want to be like him.”
Bernal, now also a winner of the Giro d’Italia, shared a tribute to Julian on social media, saying: “Today we cry for you Julián, the true pride of my country.”
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