Egan Bernal has said he wants to win all three Grand Tours by the end of his career before adding he’s not bothered by records, such as being the youngest Tour de France winner in one hundred years.
“[To] conquer the three big stage races, adding the Giro and Vuelta to the Tour. They are the races that fascinate me the most,” Bernal told La Stampa when asked what his goals are within cycling.
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Seven riders in history have managed to win all three Grand Tours so far. Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil, Felice Gimondi Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali, and most recently Chris Froome, after he won the Giro d’Italia in 2018.
Bernal has been training with his fellow Colombian pros in their homeland, after Nairo Quintana secured them the right to resume outdoor riding, and the 23-year-old says his form is excellent as they round off another month of training before flying back to Europe in July on a chartered flight.
While he would prefer the revised calendar to not be raced behind closed doors, Bernal believes that whatever is necessary to keep the sport alive must be done.
“There are TV rights that equally bring money and also advertising for the cities visited by the races. We must all make some sacrifices, otherwise cycling will die,” he said.
When Bernal returns to Europe it will be to Monaco, having recently moved there from Andorra, where he says he sometimes trains with Ineos team-mates Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas.
“In Monaco there is a nice climate and you can train for most of the year on different and demanding tracks,” Bernal said. “And then there are many of Ineos who live there, there are also Froome, Thomas, Kwiatkowski, Puccio. We often train together.”
The trio of Tour winners within the Ineos camp made headlines last month after Bernal said he didn’t see himself working for either Froome or Thomas at the 2020 French Grand Tour if he found himself on top form. However, Bernal toed the party line in this latest interview, saying “the road will decide” team leadership at this year’s race.
In the aftermath of Bernal’s original comments, Froome apparently sought an explanation from the team, which was not forthcoming, prompting rumours the four-time winner could move away from the team as he seeks a record-equalling fifth Tour victory.
“There are several things to consider, but I am in the middle of the process right now. During the next weeks and months I have to clarify in my head,” Froome told Spanish newspaper Marca.
“I hope I have a clearer picture of what the future holds when all these current distractions have passed.”