Team Sky have confirmed that promising GC rider Egan Bernal has suffered multiple fracture after a crash on the final stage of the Volta a Catalunya.
Going into the final stage in second place overall, the young Colombian crashed heavily after José Joaqiun Rojas slid out on a white line in front of him, forcing Bernal to abandon the race with just seven kilometres to go to the finish line in Barcelona.
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The crash denied 21-year-old what would have been his first podium finish in a WorldTour race, after he had proved the only rider able to challenge Movistar‘s dominance in the Volta a Catalunya. However as a result of his crash, it was the Spanish team which filled the top two spots on the podium, with Alejandro Valverde winning ahead of Nairo Quintana, while Pierre Latour finished in third place.
On Monday, Team Sky announced that Bernal had suffered fractures to his collarbone and shoulder blade, with the team not yet putting a timeline on his recovery.
“Egan obviously took a heavy impact on his shoulder and we wanted to make sure we took time to get that properly checked out,” said Team Sky doctor Dr Iñigo Sarriegui.
“Unfortunately, he has sustained a clavicular and small scapular fracture and so we’ll be making sure we get specialist opinion on the best next steps for Egan’s recovery and rehabilitation.”
Bernal has enjoyed an exceptional start to his Team Sky career since signing with the British team at the start of the year, finishing sixth overall at the Tour Down Under in January and then beating the likes of Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran to win the Colombia Oro y Paz stage race in February.
However despite the fractures disrupting his excellent start to the year, Bernal remains upbeat and already looking ahead to races later in the season.
“Obviously I’m a little disappointed because it could have been my first WorldTour podium and I’m sad because I felt really good and strong until the last day,” Bernal said. “But the team gave me so much confidence throughout the race and my teammates did a great job all week.
“I already feel a little better today [Monday] and I feel relatively good, because it was a strong blow and I know it could have been a lot worse.
“It’s important to think positively now and prepare myself for my next block of racing. I don’t know exactly how long the recovery period will be but at the moment I’m focusing on resting and recovering well.”