Egan Bernal has said he expects to have to live with back pain through the 2021 season, but is confident it won’t hamper his attacking style.
The Colombian had a torrid time in 2020, with a back complaint forcing him to abandon the defence of his Tour de France title.
The Tour is not on Bernal’s agenda in 2021, as his Ineos Grenadiers team have split their star names for the Grand Tours.
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Bernal’s objective will be to win the Giro d’Italia in May, and he showed decent form up the famed Mont Ventoux during the Tour de la Provence last month.
"My objective for the Giro this year is to get back to being the Egan who likes to attack, the Egan who isn’t afraid of getting dropped," Bernal told Gazzetta dello Sport. "On the Ventoux, my back didn’t cause me too much pain.
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"Unfortunately, I know I’ll have to live with the pain, at least for this year. I just want to enjoy this race, which I’ve wanted to do for several years. And what happens, happens."
Bernal’s build up to the Giro will see him race predominantly in Italy, and he is hopeful of peaking in May.
“I’m preparing myself 100 per cent to arrive in good form at the Giro, but obviously the others are preparing themselves to win too,” the 24-year-old said. “I won’t be racing alone.”
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