Less than a month after a road accident nearly claimed his life while training, Colombian Egan Bernal — Latin America’s only Tour de France champion — is on the road to recovery.
In a video posted to his Instagram account, Bernal kicks a football twice, while in another he pedals on a stationary bike as two fluffy dogs look.
A wheelchair is seen behind the exercise bike, and the video pans over a long scar visible along Bernal’s spine.
The video was posted with the message: “Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something.”
Bernal has said he “almost died” after smashing into a bus during a training run last month.
The 25-year-old broke 11 ribs, a knee cap, a thigh bone, two vertebrae and a thumb, as well as puncturing both lungs, while practicing for the Tour de France — a title he won in 2019 aged just 22 — with his Ineos Grenadiers teammates near Bogota.
Traffic police said he was “so focused” that he did not hear warning shouts from his teammates that the bus in front of him had stopped.
He underwent five bouts of surgery, and was discharged from the University Clinic of La Sabana, on the outskirts of Bogota, after two weeks.
“For me, just being alive is like a rebirth,” Bernal said at the time.
In the latest images, he is not wearing the protective neck and back brace that he had on when he was discharged.
His team has released no recent information on the condition of Bernal — the reigning Giro d’Italia champion.
After his victory in 2019, he withdrew from the 2020 Tour de France due to back pain.
In his absence, Tadej Pogacar of Team UAE-Emirates took the title twice.
Fans are looking forward to a face-to-face between the Slovenian and the Colombian — considered the new phenomena of cycling.
But Bernal’s presence at the next Tour de France, which starts on July 1, is uncertain.