Cycling: Bernal leaves hospital after Colombia crash

Colombian Egan Bernal (centre) poses with the clinic´s director Juan Guillermo Ortiz (right) and nurse Xiomara Bustos as he is released, on Feb 6, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

BOGOTA (REUTERS) - Colombian Egan Bernal has left hospital two weeks after injuring his spine, legs and chest in a training accident near the country's capital Bogota that left him needing neurosurgery.

Bernal, who became the first South American to win the Tour de France in 2019 and added the Giro d'Italia to his list of achievements last year, crashed on Jan 24.

He had said his chances of ending up a paraplegic were 95 per cent but he was pictured standing with hospital staff wearing only a neck brace.

"We're happy to report that @EganBernal has been discharged from hospital today," his Ineos Grenadiers team said on Twitter.

"Egan will now return home to begin his long rehabilitation journey - and we'll be supporting him every step of the way." The clinic where he was treated said all his injures "are stable and in the process of recovery." Neither the clinic nor his team gave any indication of when the 25-year-old Bernal might be back on his bike.

The Colombian was the youngest rider to win the Tour in more than a century and recently extended his contract with Ineos Grenadiers to 2026.

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