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Former Tour de France winner Bernal almost became paralyzed

January 29, 2022 GMT
FILE - Colombia's Egan Bernal after completing the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Canazei to Sega Di Ala, Italy, May 26, 2021. Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal was taken to a hospital in stable condition Monday Jan. 24, 2022, after a training crash in Colombia, his team said. In a brief statement, the Ineos Grenadiers team said the 25-year-old Colombian rider was conscious when arriving at the hospital. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File)
FILE - Colombia's Egan Bernal after completing the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Canazei to Sega Di Ala, Italy, May 26, 2021. Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal was taken to a hospital in stable condition Monday Jan. 24, 2022, after a training crash in Colombia, his team said. In a brief statement, the Ineos Grenadiers team said the 25-year-old Colombian rider was conscious when arriving at the hospital. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File)
FILE - Colombia's Egan Bernal after completing the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Canazei to Sega Di Ala, Italy, May 26, 2021. Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal was taken to a hospital in stable condition Monday Jan. 24, 2022, after a training crash in Colombia, his team said. In a brief statement, the Ineos Grenadiers team said the 25-year-old Colombian rider was conscious when arriving at the hospital. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File)
FILE - Colombia's Egan Bernal after completing the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Canazei to Sega Di Ala, Italy, May 26, 2021. Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal was taken to a hospital in stable condition Monday Jan. 24, 2022, after a training crash in Colombia, his team said. In a brief statement, the Ineos Grenadiers team said the 25-year-old Colombian rider was conscious when arriving at the hospital. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File)
FILE - Colombia's Egan Bernal after completing the 17th stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, from Canazei to Sega Di Ala, Italy, May 26, 2021. Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal was taken to a hospital in stable condition Monday Jan. 24, 2022, after a training crash in Colombia, his team said. In a brief statement, the Ineos Grenadiers team said the 25-year-old Colombian rider was conscious when arriving at the hospital. (Marco Alpozzi/LaPresse via AP, File)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Former Tour de France champion Egan Bernal said Friday he was very close to becoming paralyzed after an accident with a bus on Monday.

The crash took place as the 25-year-old Bernal trained on the road in his native Colombia. The 2019 Tour winner is under intensive care.

Bernal said on Twitter he had a “95% chance of ending quadriplegic” and dying. He thanked his fans, doctors and family for their support.

Bernal is expected to go through two surgeries, one on his right hand and another with his mouth.

The Colombian had trained with several members of his team recently near his hometown of Zipaquira, which is 2,650 meters (8,600 feet) above sea level. Police said he hit the back of a bus that had pulled over to drop off a passenger and was parked in the emergency lane.

Bernal has one of cycling’s most promising careers. The Colombian won the Tour at the age of 21, one of the youngest ever. He also triumphed at the Giro d’Italia last year.

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