Egan Bernal says Tour de France postponement would be best option

The current Tour de France champion returned to Colombia before lockdown

Egan Bernal at the 2020 Tour Colombia 2.1
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tour de France champion Egan Bernal has said that he has taken a break from training and is putting his feet up during the coronavirus lockdown at his home in Colombia, adding that he believes it would be best for the 2020 Tour to be postponed in the wake of the pandemic.

In an article on Ciclo21 Bernal said: “Right now I am not training, neither mentally nor physically. I had been training hard for Paris-Nice, then I got on my rollers as soon as I arrived in Colombia. But with the coach we planned that the best thing to do was rest fully"

“We still have 15 days until April 13 (lockdown deadline in Colombia). We prefer to work five or six days, then start riding. You don't lose what you did since December taking a break, doing one or two hours on rollers and then going out on the roads, ” he continued.

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The 23-year-old hasn't raced since the final stage of the Tour Colombia 2.1 on February 16, so he would be almost starting completely fresh whenever the season re-starts, if it does at all.

The lockdown across much of the globe has had a catastrophic affect on the cycling calendar, seeing races like the Giro d'Italia getting postponed and the Tour de France seemingly going to same way.

"This lockdown affects us all, even for the Tour if it is done in July, because some favourites may fail, the preparation is different. It is better that it could have been postponed," Bernal said.

“For cycling, if we don't run the big three [Grand Tours] it will be very serious, it will depend on how this evolves. What is clear is that the world must go on. This cannot block the world, life in general.

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"For the sake of cycling, for sponsors who invest a lot of money and are being affected by this quarantine, I hope they are carried out.”

Those following the Ineos climber on Instagram will see that he is spending a lot of his time watching TV and asking people to stay at home during this crisis, adding that he is not thinking about cycling.

“I'm a little disconnected from cycling, I haven't seen much news," Bernal said. "Right now it's just speculation, I don't want to kill my head for something that is still not certain. I haven't seen what a crowdless Tour would look like.”

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.