Egan Bernal has outlined his Spring schedule, with the Ineos Grenadiers rider set to race at O Gran Camiño, Strade Bianche and the Volta a Catalunya after he starts his season on home roads in Colombia early next month.
In an interview with Revista Mundo Ciclistico, Bernal also indicated that he would appear at Itzulia Basque Country and the Tour de Romandie in April. Ineos have yet to outline what Grand Tours will feature on Bernal’s programme for 2024.
After lining out in the time trial and road race at the national championships in early February, Bernal will lead the Colombian national team at the Tour Colombia, which takes place from February 6-11. He then plans to travel to Galicia in late February for O Gran Camiño, where Jonas Vingegaard and Visma-Lease A Bike will also be in action.
“I hope to compete in the two nationals and at the Tour Colombia where I’ll looking to do my best and then travel to Europe in a very good condition,” Bernal said.
“Normally I’ll do O Gran Camiño, Strade Bianche, Catalunya, Basque Country and Romandie. But for starters, we are focused until Tour Colombia. I want to be very strong there and then in Europe, we will see how everything goes. We have to be open to all possibilities.”
Bernal raced both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2023, his first full season back in the peloton after suffering life-threatening injuries in a training crash two years ago. He placed 36th overall in France and 56th overall at the Vuelta, but he expressed hope that the heavy diet of racing would stand him in good stead for 2024.
“The calendar we did last year was very hard, but it helped me to start recovering well and I think this year I’m coming in at a different rhythm,” Bernal said. “I feel much better. The idea of 2023 was actually to do a lot of kilometres with the Tour and the Vuelta, accumulating fatigue and hoping that the body could adapt again.”
Bernal was speaking at an event at the weekend to mark his 27th birthday, when he was joined by 2,000 people on a leisure ride on the outskirts of Bogotá.
“Obviously, training is one thing and races are something else, but I hope to be very strong,” he said. “For the moment, everything looks very good.”