Egan Bernal made history on Sunday, becoming the first ever Colombian to win the Tour de France and the youngest rider in more than a century to win the world’s most prestigious cycling race.
The rider from Zipaquira, a town in central Colombia, surprisingly defeated his own team captain, defending champion Geraint Thomas from the UK.
With Bernal on the top of the podium and fellow-Colombians Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana in the top 10 of the general ranking, Colombia established itself as one of the world’s best cycling countries.
This is not only my triumph but the triumph of a whole country. We already had the Giro, La Vuelta, but the Tour was missing and it’s a great honor to think that I’m the one achieving this.
President Ivan Duque on Saturday called the sportsman a “true hero” already after successfully having defended his yellow jersey in what is generally the last day of real racing.
Today all Colombians must feel very proud of what our country is.
President Ivan Duque
As expected, Bernal was allowed to ride Sunday’s stage, which was won by Caleb Ewan, without any attacks from his rivals that would endanger his yellow jersey and his victory in the race.
All the Colombian had to do was enjoy the ride of his life, the one that led him to his country’s first victory in the Tour de France and one of the biggest possible achievements in the life of a professional rider.
When he was a kid, Bernal told local media on Saturday, his dream was to take part in the Tour. This year he did, and he took his childhood dream even further by winning the world’s most prestigious race.