The cyclist Egan Bernal, recent winner of the Tour of Italy, offered this Wednesday to Pope Francis a racing bike on the occasion of an audience in the Vatican, the day after his recovery from Covid-19.
"I have known a lot in my life, but this is unique, the most beautiful experience I have ever had," Bernal, 24, told reporters after receiving the papal blessing.
The Colombian, winner of the Tour de France in 2019, tested positive for Covid-19 on June 4, less than a week after winning the Tour of Italy.
He announced his recovery on Tuesday on social networks.
He presented the Pope with a Pinarello F12 type bike, adorned with blue and white stripes like the Argentina jersey and the Vatican coat of arms, the same model on which he won the Giro.
First Latin American to win the Tour in 2019
The rider of the British team Ineos-Grenadiers also presented the sovereign pontiff with a pink jersey for the leader of the Tour of Italy.
“A gift from me and from all Colombians who need his blessing right now,” said Bernal, who was with his partner María Fernanda Gutiérrez.
“I grew up in a Catholic family, I am Catholic.
Before the most difficult stages, I pray, ”he added.
Egan Bernal was the first Latin American to win the Tour de France in 2019, but the following year back pain forced him to retire before the end of the race.
He will not participate in the 2021 edition, which will start on June 26 from Brest.
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