Contrary to several reports, Egan Bernal’s brother won’t move to Europe to race under the tutelage of Gianni Savio, at least for another three years.
Ronald Bernal is just 15 at present and famously celebrated his older brother’s 2019 Tour de France victory on the Champs Élysées. He is considered to have some of the same talents as his older sibling but will not head to Europe until he is at least 18.
News of a second Bernal in the peloton emerged after a report by the Italian website Tuttobiciweb. They reported Savio saying: “I can’t wait to have him with us and to help him develop as we did with Egan.”
Savio’s desire to help out the Bernal family somehow got lost in translation, with some publications suggesting that Ronald was already in Europe, even though his brother is spending the winter at home in Colombia.
To get to the bottom of the story, Cyclingnews called Savio.
“I spoke to Vladimir Chiuminatto, who runs the Bernal fan club in Colombia and we spoke about Ronald. They say he has some of the talent of his brother and I’d be happy to help him just as I did with Egan but not until he’s 18,” Savio made clear to Cyclingnews.
“There’s clearly been a misunderstanding about what I said.”
“Everyone knows how I helped Egan develop and I’d be happy to do the same with Ronald but it’s far too early to think he’d automatically follow in Egan’s footsteps. Egan rightly wants to protect his younger brother and so do I, so let’s give him time to develop.”
Ronald is described as more of a sprinter than his older brother, with the ability to attack his rivals. He has so far ridden some local mountain bike races near Zipaquira in Colombia but has not taken out a licence or signed any kind of contract.
Egan Bernal is currently in Colombia as he continues his recovery from the back injury that forced him to abandon the 2020 Tour de France. He spent several weeks working in the gym and underwent a special bike fit in Germany but it is unclear if he has started training for the 2021 season.
In October, Bernal told ESPN Colombia, “The problem is that one leg is longer than the other… It’s a pretty long recovery process because basically, it has caused me to have scoliosis in my spine.”