San Sebastian (Spain) (AFP)
Egan Bernal did not stop at the Champs Elysees: the young Colombian winner of the Tour de France will be leaving the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday, without pressure, because for him, it is important to "ride and be happy on the bike, "he said Friday.
"They pay me to get on a bike, train, and I want to continue to take advantage of that, the adrenaline of the race, to prepare for the competition," said the Ineos rider in a press conference.
Becoming last Sunday the first Colombian winner of the Tour de France at 22, Bernal will find on the Basque roads the other great craftsman of a great loop: Julian Alaphilippe (Deceunink-Quick Step), winner of the Clasica last year .
But Bernal is already thinking of the after, when he returned home, where a whole people celebrated his hero in yellow, the yellow of the Colombian flag flooding the streets.
"It's going to be something very special, very beautiful, the first time a Colombian wears the yellow jersey, there will be a lot of people in my village, I hope everything will be fine, I'm very happy and I I can not wait to get to Colombia, "said Bernal before Clasica.
"I need a few days at home, get back to my normal life, and then I'll realize that what I've accomplished is something very important," he added.
For now, he "hopes to finish the Clasica", a year after falling 20 km from the arrival in the Basque Country, breaking his nose and injuring his jaw.
In Saturday's favorite, he sees the French Alaphilippe or the two Spanish riders of Movistar, Alejandro Valverde, "who always surprises", and Mikel Landa, "very strong" in the last part of the Tour.
For the rest of the season, Bernal has confirmed that he intends to participate in the Italian classics and finish the Tour of Lombardy in October.
© 2019 AFP