The former Tour de France winner Egan Bernal will make his return to racing at the Tour of Denmark on Tuesday, eight months after the career-threatening crash while training in Colombia.
Bernal, 25, was left with 20 fractures, including in his spine, femur and kneecap, after hitting a stationary bus while riding at 40mph on his time trial bike in January.
He was considered lucky to have survived and doctors initially warned there was a high likelihood he could be paralysed as a result of his injuries, but he has made rapid progress since beginning his rehabilitation.
“After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I’ve been waiting for – to race with my teammates again,” Bernal said.
“I can’t emphasise enough how hard the last eight months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey that I have been on since will be a part of me forever, it’s something you never forget.
“As is the support that I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, Ineos, as well as my fans. As humans we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I can’t thank everyone who has been there for me enough.”
Ineos had already announced a seven-strong squad headlined by Geraint Thomas for the Danish race, but Bernal replaces Andrey Amador who has dropped out because of illness.
Meanwhile, the three-time winner Primoz Roglic will race the final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España, despite sustaining serious injuries last month in the Tour de France, his team Jumbo-Visma announced on Monday.
Roglic sustained a dislocated shoulder and a back injury when he crashed in the fifth stage of the Tour de France and abandoned the race before the 15th stage to focus on his recovery.
“We are delighted that Primoz can start in the Vuelta after his serious injury in the Tour de France,” Jumbo-Visma’s sports director, Merijn Zeeman, said. “Logically, he didn’t have the best preparation, but we greatly respect him for how he managed to get ready. We have a good and balanced team at the start that can optimally support Primoz in all areas.”
Roglic will launch a bid to become the first rider to win the Vuelta a España four times in a row when it begins in Utrecht on 19 August.