Egan Bernal tests positive for Covid-19 days after Giro d’Italia victory

The Colombian star had been scheduled to return home after winning the Giro but will now self-isolate in Europe

Egan Bernal
(Image credit: Getty)

Egan Bernal has tested for Covid-19 less than a week after winning the Giro d’Italia 2021.

The Ineos Grenadiers leader had been scheduled to fly home to Colombia this weekend, but instead will be forced to self-isolate in Europe. 

Bernal, 24, was the dominant rider in the 2021 Giro, winning two stages and taking home the maglia rosa 90 seconds ahead of Daminao Caruso (Bahrain Victorious). 

But Bernal’s celebrations were cut short when he tested positive for coronavirus during a routine test on Thursday (June 3), as he was scheduled to fly home. 

In a statement released a day after the positive test, Ineos Grenadiers said: “Egan Bernal has tested positive for Covid-19 following a routine test on Thursday ahead of his planned return to Colombia this weekend.

“He will now self-isolate at his European base according to the necessary guidelines. He has displayed mild symptoms but is in good health.

“Egan still plans to return to Colombia once his isolation period is over to mark his Giro d’Italia victory in his homeland.” 

The Colombian cycling federation also confirmed Bernal’s positive on social media.  

As part of the strict coronavirus measures at the Giro the entire race bubble, including riders and team staff, were tested for coronavirus on each of the two rest days during the race. No one tested positive for coronavirus during the Giro d’Italia. 

Bernal claimed victory in the Giro on Sunday (May 30) following an individual time trial in Milan, as he comfortably finished ahead of Caruso and Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange). 

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The 2021 Giro was Bernal’s second Grand Tour victory, after he won the 2019 Tour de France in hugely impressive fashion.

After struggling through back problems last season, Bernal came back to take a monumental victory in Italy.

While his schedule for the rest of 2021 has not been confirmed, Bernal said he will not be riding the Tour de France and is likely to miss the Olympics.

But he did say he hopes to compete in the Vuelta a España later in the year.  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.