“I still feel like a winner, I really want to win" - Egan Bernal remains optimistic about returning to cycling's elite

Egan Bernal has had a rough couple of years on and off the bike, but the Colombian has always kept a positive outlook throughout. Now, with two Grand Tours in his legs during 2023 Bernal is beginning to start feeling like his old self.

“The Vuelta was okay. I had a better feeling than during the Tour de France. I feel stronger overall, both mentally and physically," the INEOS Grenadiers rider tells GCN following the conclusion of the 2023 Vuelta a Espana. "I trained very well this winter, but had a real setback when I had to stop in the middle of the season due to bad luck, that wasn't ideal. I have done my best to be in the best possible shape for both the Tour and the Vuelta.”

A two-time Grand Tour winner in his pomp, Bernal is still some way off that level as he admits himself. “The purpose of doing two Grand Tours was to give me back the kilometres and base in my legs,” the 26-year-old explains. “It was a big block for me. I have never had so many competition days in one season. I have been riding WorldTour races since Catalonia. I was not thinking about achieving results this season, but about next season.”

“It's a process and I don't know where I'll end up, but I expect more from myself. I still feel like a winner, I really want to win. I see myself competing with the best. That's what I work for," Bernal concludes. “I want to be in my best shape, because I like to race aggressively. When you see these guys being so dominant, I want to be there and do something.”

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