Unlucky Bernal crashes out of second

25 Mar 2018

Unlucky Bernal crashes out of second

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A fantastic performance from Egan Bernal came to an unlucky end at the Volta a Catalunya after the Colombian was caught up in a crash on the final stage.

On the race’s penultimate lap the young Colombian found himself with nowhere to go as Movistar rider Jose Joaquin Rojas crashed in front of him on the fast descent. With race and team medical staff quickly at his side Bernal was forced to abandon the race while in a comfortable second place.
 
Bernal had an initial x-ray and will undergo further investigations on his shoulder.
 
The 21 year old began the day just 16 seconds off the lead and put in a tenacious performance on the finishing circuit in Barcelona.
 
After trying to put leader Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) under pressure, Bernal was able to comfortably cover off a move from the Spaniard as the pair joined the front of the race. Sergio Henao had already bridged across to the front and the Colombian duo worked well as the laps clicked off.
 
With Bernal out of the race Valverde was able to wrap up overall victory by 29 seconds over team-mate Nairo Quintana. A late attack and stage victory saw Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) miss out on third place by the slenderest of margins, with Pierre Latour (Ag2r-La Mondiale) holding on via stage placings.
 
Sport Director Brett Lancaster summed up the feelings post-stage, but reiterated how impressive Bernal's performance had been. He said: “Everyone is a little bit gutted. All the boys worked so hard, committed and rode themselves into the ground all week for him. To beat Valverde today I think we would have had our work cut out, but we would have been really happy with second place. Obviously that was all lost in the crash – but there was nothing Egan could have done.
 
“One thing we can take out of it, and we saw again today, was that it looked like Egan and Valverde were the strongest two in the race. No one else could follow Valverde when he moved, so you can see Egan is at that real elite level. It’s really promising for the future.”

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