Chris Hoy believes "fierce competitor" Egan Bernal can return to full strength despite the injuries he suffered in a horror crash earlier this year.

Bernal, who won the Tour de France in 2019 and the Giro d'Italia in 2021, was treated in intensive care following the accident in Colombia in January.

The 25-year-old underwent multiple operations after sustaining a fractured vertebra, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs.

Bernal subsequently revealed in a social media post that there was a "95 per cent chance" of him being paralysed or losing his life.

However, after leaving hospital, Bernal is now on the road to recovery and this month shared a photo of him training on a static bike at home.

Hoy, speaking to Stats Perform to mark 500 days until the start of the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow, said he is hoping Bernal will be back competing at the highest level after a long road to recovery.

"I guess it's always hard to tell just how bad an injury or how bad mentally a big crash can affect athletes and with social media, you're always trying to portray the best possible side and the positive side all the time," said Hoy, who is one of Great Britain's most successful Olympians with six gold medals.

"But there is no doubt that no matter how well he's doing now, it will have been a huge struggle to get past the physical injuries and the psychological scars as well from such a horrible accident.

"He is a fierce competitor, all the other team-mates who know him say that if anyone can, he can, and I think the cycling community is hoping that he will get back to his very best and be able to compete on the biggest stage. But, you know, it's not a small challenge that he's facing, but we'll have to wait and see."

Four-time Tour de France winner and Bernal's former INEOS Grenadiers team-mate Chris Froome also suffered a horrendous crash in 2019, which put him out of action for almost a year.

Froome was 34 when that accident occurred, and Hoy says Bernal at least has age on his side.

"I think Bernal’s age will help, that the chances on getting back and competing at the highest level, are definitely improved by the fact that he is still relatively young," Hoy said.

"But until you get back into that real cauldron of competition you just don't know what it's going to be like and I guess the longer you're away from competing, the more that fire burns and the more you want to get back and taste that victory again."

National cyclist Marloe Rodman is set to represent Jamaica at the Pan American Para-Cycling Track and Road Championships in Maringa, Brazil this week.

The races are scheduled for March 17-20.

Rodman, who has a paralyzed upper limb from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in 2018, will be the first Jamaican athlete to represent the nation in para-cycling.

Prior to his injury, Rodman was a multiple national track cycling champion and has represented Jamaica at several international competitions.

Rodman, who left the island on Sunday, is set to do the scratch race and omnium, which is his speciality event on the track, as well as the road race. This event is a qualifier for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Following up on her podium finishes at the Liga Autonomica de Féminas in Spain on Saturday, Llori Sharpe enjoyed another good day in competition on Sunday when she was second in the U23 category and seventh overall in the Trofeo Dulcinea.

Sharpe, who signed with German cycling outfit Canyon-SRAM Generation in December 2021, tells Sportsmax.TV that both she and her coach, Adam Szabo, were quite pleased with her accomplishments on the weekend.

“I'd say it went pretty well,” she said of how she performed on Sunday. “The weekend, in general, was a great way to start the season. He (Szabo) too said both races went extremely well.”

All-in-all, it was a solid start to her career but Sharpe said there is much to improve upon. 

“I'd say to be more aggressive in the pack and to believe in my capabilities more,” she said about what she took away from her race on Sunday.

On Saturday, on what was her professional debut, Sharpe finished in third place in the Elite Category and second place in the Under 23 Category.

She now looks forward to her next race which comes up on the weekend.

It was with a sense of disbelief that Llori Sharpe stepped onto the podium in Spain at the conclusion of the Liga Autonomica de Féminas in Spain on Saturday.

In what was the first race of her professional career, Sharpe finished in third place in the Elite Category and second place in the Under 23 Category.

Her Rwanda teammate Valentine Nzayisenga finished in fifth place from a line-up of 110 riders. The 79 km, three-lap event included 6 km of gravel.

Sharpe signed a one-year contract with the German cycling team Canyon-SRAM Generation in December 2021, becoming the first Jamaican cyclist to sign with a European ream. On Saturday, the former triathlete began repaying their faith in signing her.

Still, it was a surreal moment for the 21-year-old Sports Science student at the University of the West Indies.

“When it just happened, I honestly couldn't believe it, but it has finally sunk in and I'm really proud of myself and my efforts today (Saturday),” she told Sportsmax.TV while explaining the successful strategy.

“I think I was able to read the race and my competitors well and just had to make my move when I felt the time was right.”

The success she enjoyed on Saturday, has not come without sacrifices. Sharpe has been living in Spain since mid-January, away from her family and those closest to her. She reveals that it has not been easy.

“Some days I feel really good and on others, I really miss my friends and family back home. The weather doesn't make it any easier since it’s not what I'm used to. But, I think to advance in anything in life whether personally, professionally or otherwise, one has to get out of their comfort zone, so although the adjustment has been tough at times, that's how I'll grow and develop not just in cycling, but as an individual,” she reasoned.

Otherwise, she has been pleased with her progress as she takes the first steps into competition in her professional career.

“Preparations have been going well, I'd say, and I'm glad that I'm now in an environment that's conducive to my progression in cycling,” she said.

INEOS Grenadiers rider Pavel Sivakov's request to compete for France rather than Russia has been approved by the UCI.

The 24-year-old last week stated that he is "totally against war" following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sivakov revealed he had already wanted to become a French national before Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine and cycling's world governing body has now sanctioned his switch.

"I was born in Italy and moved to France when I was one year old," Sivakov said. "France is where I grew up and was educated and where I fell in love with riding my bike which led me to racing. It feels like my home.

"I have wanted to become a French national for some time and had made the request to the UCI, but given what is happening in Ukraine at the moment, I wanted to fast-track this.

"I want to thank the UCI and the team at INEOS Grenadiers for supporting me with this process and helping make this a reality. To now have the opportunity to race as a French national in international events makes me incredibly happy.

"It would be a dream to race in Paris at the 2024 Olympics for France and this is something that the team have said they would fully support.

"As I have previously said, I am totally against this war and all my thoughts are with the Ukrainian people. Like most people around the world right now, I hope for peace and a swift end to the suffering happening in Ukraine."

 

 

Egan Bernal has come through a second spinal operation after the crash he believes almost killed him, and the former Tour de France winner declared on Thursday: "Let's rock."

With a long way to go before he gets on a bike again, Bernal managed to sound an optimistic note from his hospital bed.

The INEOS Grenadiers rider was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia last week.

Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France champion and victor of the 2021 Giro d'Italia, struck a parked bus at high speed while riding his time trial bike.

He underwent surgery soon after the collision, and a further operation on his spine was required on Wednesday.

Bernal, who said this was proving to be his "toughest race", said it would be the last major operation he faces.

The hospital treating Bernal – the Clinica Universidad de la Sabana – said: "The objectives of biomechanical stability of the cervical spine were achieved with excellent clinical results, without presenting complications during surgery."

Bernal catalogued his list of injuries in an Instagram post on Thursday, before setting his sights on a return to the saddle.

He wrote: "Nearly 20 broken bones. 11 ribs. Femur. Ball joint. T5-T6. Odontoids. Metacarpal. A thumb. I lost a tooth. Perforation of both lungs.

"I almost killed myself, but you know what? I am grateful to God for putting me through this test. It is being the toughest race, but I have had a group of excellent people around me.

"Yesterday I had my last major surgery and everything seems to have gone well. So now to recover and make this another... I'M BACK!! And let's rock."

Egan Bernal says he almost died as a result of the injuries he suffered following a horror crash in training this week.

The INEOS Grenadiers rider was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia on Monday.

Bernal, the 2019 Tour de France champion and victor of the 2021 Giro d'Italia, struck a parked bus at high speed while riding his time trial bike.

Posting on Instagram, Bernal wrote: "Having had a 95 per cent chance of becoming a paraplegic and nearly losing my life doing what I love to do most, today I want to thank God, the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana, all the specialists for doing the impossible, my family, friends and all of you for your wishes. 

"I'm still in the ICU waiting for more surgeries but trusting in God everything will be fine."

Bernal underwent two operations following the incident, with the hospital confirming the surgeries were a success.

An INEOS statement later clarified the extent of the Colombian's injuries.

"Egan suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs in the crash. Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilise the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries," the statement read.

A hospital statement, reported by BBC Sport, read: "Egan Bernal Gomez has continued with the expected recovery and with a favourable trend.

"Egan continues with his rehabilitation plan, he has not shown signs of infection, he is also in good spirits.

"Tomorrow he will have two surgeries, which are secondary procedures that are not life-threatening."

INEOS Grenadiers have released an update on Egan Bernal, revealing the full extent of his injuries.

Bernal, the winner of the 2019 Tour de France and last year's Giro d'Italia, was involved in a crash while training close to his hometown of Bogota in Colombia on Monday.

According to local media reports, the 25-year-old struck a parked bus while riding at a high speed.

Bernal underwent two operations at the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana. On Tuesday, the hospital confirmed that the surgeries had been a success, but the rider remained in intensive care.

INEOS subsequently released a further update on the Colombian.

"Following yesterday's training accident, Egan remains in a stable condition in intensive care after two successful surgeries," the statement read.

"Egan suffered a fractured vertebrae, a fractured right femur, a fractured right patella, chest trauma, a punctured lung and several fractured ribs in the crash. Doctors were able to medically pin his right leg and stabilise the vertebrae fracture in two separate surgeries.

"He is now in an intensive care unit where other potential secondary injuries are being managed, as well as his body's response to the trauma.

"The team would like to thank the medical staff at Clinica Universidad de La Sabana and everyone who has sent messages of support to Egan. All of our focus is on ensuring Egan is given the best possible care as he starts his road to recovery."

Among those sending support to Bernal was former team-mate Chris Froome, who himself has had to overcome serious injuries to return to cycling.

Froome, a four-time Tour de France winner, suffered a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow, and fractured ribs, after a high-speed crash into a wall while training in 2019.

"My thoughts are with Egan and his family today," Froome wrote on Twitter.

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal is in intensive care after undergoing surgery on his spine following a training crash.

Bernal was training near his hometown in Bogota when the accident happened on Monday and was taken to the Clinica Universidad de La Sabana to receive treatment.

According to local media reports, the 25-year-old struck a parked bus while riding at a high speed and suffered fractures in his right leg and kneecap as well as a collapsed lung.

The 2019 Tour de France and 2021 Giro d'Italia winner was said to have been "stable" in a statement released by his Ineos Grenadiers team on Monday.

Bernal has since undergone further surgery to repair dislocated fractures in his spine.

A statement from the hospital on Tuesday confirmed the operation had "kept intact the neurological integrity and conserved the functionality of the segments involved".

"We'll wait for his progress over the next 72 hours in the Intensive Care Unit to see the response to the treatment established for this high-energy trauma," the statement added. 

"We have immediately begun the rehabilitation process to achieve the best possible results with our patient."

Bernal, who has suffered with a recurring back problem over the past two years, extended his contract with Ineos Grenadiers to 2026 earlier this month.

Cyclist Nicholas Paul and track and field athlete Michelle Lee Ahye walked away with the top male and female honours at the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee 27th Annual Awards Ceremony held on Wednesday evening.

In the event, which was broadcast over video-conferencing platform Zoom, Paul and Ahye were named TTOC’s senior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year respectively for 2021.

TTOC President Brian Lewis addressed the virtual audience before the distribution of awards.

“In 2021, our athletes showed that they faced their fears. They went to Tokyo and gave their best. They did not make excuses and of course, they showed emotional, physical, and mental stamina by facing their disappointments, their failures, their mistakes, and the criticism of those who weren’t in the arena; who didn’t have to overcome economic issues, lack of training issues, doubt issues, death in their families and close circles,” said Lewis.

“As we look forward to 2022, we are encouraged by the example and the discipline and resolve shown by team TTO at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Junior Pan Am Games,” he added.

It was Ahye’s fourth time holding the title after winning from 2016-2018 while Paul received the award for the second time, his first coming back in 2019.

Paul, the current world-record holder in the Men’s flying 200m, earned the top male award based on his silver medal performance in the Men’s one-kilometre time-trial at the UCI Tissot World Track Cycling Championship in Roubaix, France, back in October.

He was also sixth in the Men’s Sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Ahye was deemed the top female based on her ninth-place finish in the Women’s 100m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where she narrowly missed out on the final.

Swimmer Nikoli Blackman, a member of T&T’s teams at both the Pan Am Junior Games and Swimming World Championships (SC) this year, was named Junior Sportsman of the Year for the second consecutive year, and track and field athlete Rae-Anne Serville, now representing USC, was Junior Sportswoman of the Year.

Olympic long jump finalist and 2021 NCAA Heptathlon Champion at Texas A&M, Tyra Gittens, was named the Sports Personality of the Year and reacted to it on her Instagram page on Wednesday.

“Blessed to receive the Sports Personality award during the TTOC 27th Annual Award Ceremony this evening. I can’t wait to represent TTO again next year,” she said.

West Indies senior women’s vice-captain Anissa Mohammed won the Future is Female award.

 

Jamaican Cyclist Llori Sharpe has made history by signing a one-year contract with German cycling team Canyon-SRAM Generation.

The former St. Andrew High School track & field athlete, who first came to prominence nationally as a triathlete, is the first Jamaican cyclist to sign with a team in Europe.

She won several awards as a triathlete, including the RJR Gleaner VMBS Youth Award, and represented the country in the event at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Sharpe is one of 239 riders from around the world to sign with the developmental cycling team and the contract, which takes effect on January 1, 2022, will see her participating in training camps with world tour riders as of January 16.

“Well, I’m obviously elated, excited, overjoyed, all those adjectives and I’m definitely looking forward to what is to come next year and I do think this is a step in the right direction, not just for me but for local cycling and regional cycling. I believe we can look forward to bigger and better things as time progresses,” Sharpe said in an interview with Television Jamaica Sports.

The 21-year-old, who is presently reading for a Degree in Sports Science at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus, pointed to how her recent move will improve her cycling.

“I think this opportunity will provide me with the platform for greater exposure and greater developmental cycling experience. I’m definitely looking forward to what’s to come,” she said.

Sharpe will be based in Germany but will be traveling across Europe during her attachment and is expected to leave the island after the Christmas holidays.

 

Geraint Thomas has committed his future to the INEOS Grenadiers after signing a new two-year deal, claiming he is "still super motivated".

The 35-year-old will now remain with the team until 2024, having joined when it was formed in 2010.

The Welshman insists that his passion for the sport has not wavered and reveals that he intends to make the most of the time he has left in his professional career.

"I'm still super motivated to work hard and train hard," Thomas said to the INEOS Grenadiers official website. "That's what I love doing. I still really enjoy riding my bike, pushing myself.

"When you can see the finish line of your professional sporting career, you want to make the most of it every day and make it all count."

Despite a difficult end to the last season, Thomas is looking forward to competing and believes he can still hold his own at the highest level.

"Obviously I had a tough end to 2021 but up until the crash at the Tour, I was in the best shape I’d been," Thomas continued. "I'm still very motivated to perform in the biggest races.

"I'll probably look at doing the Ardennes which I've never done properly. That's exciting and new, and hopefully, then go on the Tour to play a big role there.

"I'm super excited about the last few years of my career with the team. It's going to be fun - that’s the main thing.

"People keep asking me what my role will be and obviously I want to keep winning myself, but being a part of a winning team and having fun with some of my best mates is as important - ​​and to do that I'll need to be at my best."

British cyclist Mark Cavendish has been left "extremely distressed" after being held at knifepoint during an armed burglary at his family home last month.

The 36-year-old was recovering from two broken ribs and a collapsed lung sustained in a serious crash when the incident took place in the early hours of November 27.

Cavendish said he was "violently attacked" by four men in front of his wife, Peta, and children, during the raid.

The group stole a Louis Vuitton suitcase and two high-value watches. No arrests have yet been made.

Cavendish, who signed a one-year contract extension with Deceuninck-Quick-Step this week, said in a statement on Wednesday: "As I'm sure you will understand, this incident has left our family extremely distressed – not just myself and Peta but our children as well, who feared for their lives and are now struggling with the after-effects.

"No one should have to experience the sort of violence and threats made against us, let alone this happening in a family home – a place where everyone should feel safe.

"The items taken are simply material goods and our priority at the moment is to make sure we all recover from the incident as a family, and we know this is likely to take some time."

Detective Inspector Tony Atkin, the senior investigating officer on the case, added: "This was undoubtedly a targeted incident at the home of a celebrated British Olympian, who at the time was recovering from significant injuries resulting from a crash while competing, which was well publicised.

"Our investigation is moving along at pace and we are following a number of lines of inquiry as we seek to catch those responsible. 

"Mr Cavendish and his wife were assaulted and threatened in their own home, in the presence of their young children, who witnessed these events. Thankfully, they are recovering, but the traumatic effect will be long standing."

Alejandro Valverde has confirmed he will retire at the end of the 2022 season and hopes to contest at least one more grand tour on home soil in the Vuelta a Espana.

Next year will be the veteran rider's 21st campaign in professional cycling and he sees no need to continue further despite still feeling able to compete.

Valverde, who ruled out competing at next year's Tour de France, will remain in a coaching role with the Movistar team after his retirement, given his contract will still have two years to run.

The 41-year-old won the Vuelta in 2009 and has achieved a further six podium finishes at the prestigious event.

Valverde has also finished third in the Tour de France and come third in the Giro d'Italia in the only time he competed in the Italian stage race in 2016, as well as being crowned world road champion in 2018.

The Spaniard returned from a two-year suspension due to the Operacion Puerto investigation in 2012, having had all of his 2010 results annulled after a lengthy legal battle.

"I say with total conviction, 100 per cent, that 2022 is going to be my last year," Valverde told Sports Radiogaceta.

"Even though my level is good at 42, it makes no sense to extend longer after 21 years in the business. What more do I want? My time has come.

"I want to enjoy my last season as a pro. I don't have my season sketched out yet, but a start at the Tour de France is already excluded.

"I hope to race the Vuelta next year, and we will study the Giro route too, and then there is the Classics and all the races on the Spanish calendar.

"When I retire I have a contract for two more years in the Movistar team. I will try to help the team as much as I can, especially by coaching young riders, which is something I like a lot."

Tadej Pogacar has described the Tour de France 2022 route as "a complete course" as the two-time champion looks to claim a third title in a row.

The new route for the 109th edition of the Tour was revealed in Paris on Thursday and totals 53 kilometres, including two individual time trials and five mountain-top finishes.

Pogacar, speaking at the route's unveiling in the French capital, said he was "excited" at the prospect of the course. 

"It's pretty great. It's a complete course," the 23-year-old Slovenian said. "From the first stage to the last stage, we have everything: sprints, echelons, cobbles, big climbs, small climbs, time trials. 

"I'm really looking forward to it. I'll do some recons because it will be necessary after we saw what's on the plan. I'm pretty excited."

Pogacar joined an exclusive club of cyclists last week by claiming victory at the Giro di Lombardia, having retained his Tour de France title in July, to become the first rider in 42 years to win both competitions in the same season.

Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault are among the illustrious names to have previously achieved the feat.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.