Canazei (Italy) (AFP)
Giro d’Italia leader Egan Bernal said on Tuesday he could miss the Tokyo Olympics this summer in order to recover from persistent back pain.
The Colombian star, who won the Tour de France in 2019, leads Italy’s Damiano Caruso by two minutes and 24 seconds with five Giro stages to go.
But Bernal said on the second day of rest in the opening race of the Year’s Grand Tour that he could skip the Olympics.
“I’m not sure I’m going (to Tokyo). It’s a question mark, ”Bernal said at a press conference.
“I will only go if I am fully competitive. I spent a lot of energy on the Giro. I don’t know if going to the Games, with what that implies like fatigue, is the best thing to do.
“If it’s too risky, I won’t go. I’m not ruling out the possibility (to go), but it will be difficult. “
Bernal, who said he “could” run the Vuelta a Espana, also ruled out any idea he would attempt to become the first man to win the Giro-Tour de France double since Marco Pantani in 1998.
” I do not think so. Overtaking with the Giro and the Tour is very difficult. We already have a very good team, ”added the 24-year-old.
“The Giro and the Tour are very different. It also depends on the routes, the objectives of the team. For now, I want to focus on the next stages of the Giro. “
Bernal resumes his candidacy for a second crown of the Grand Tour on Wednesday’s 17th stage, a 193 km journey from Canazei to Sega di Ala.
© 2021 AFP