"There is no respect" - Egan Bernal criticises riders for attacking whilst Tadej Pogacar took nature break at 2024 Tour de France

One of the many unwritten rules of the peloton has long been that when the race leader - in the case of the 2024 Tour de France, the Maillot Jaune wearing Tadej Pogacar - stops for a nature break, there is a respectful ceasefire of attacks until the leader returns. According to Egan Bernal however, this respect is no longer present in the modern peloton.

"In the 2019 Tour, let's say that the race was a little more controlled, it was a little more predictable about everything that was going to happen," the 2019 Tour de France winner reminisces in a rest day interview with Marca. "There was even more respect in the peloton, now there is no respect at all. Yesterday the 'yellow jersey' stopped to urinate and it was a moment when you know that everyone has to respect. The breakaway had already left and there were people who continued to break away, that didn't happen before."

"The truth is that in 2021, after COVID, things changed. So let's say that from 2021 to now it hasn't changed much, from 2019 it has changed quite a bit," continues the 27-year-old Colombian, not totally convinced that that the change has been a change for the better for riders within the peloton.

Over the first week of the 2024 Tour de France, Tadej Pogacar has been the leading figure, although unlike at the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, the UAE Team Emirates leader hasn't yet been able to completely quash the spirit of his main rivals. "Apart from legs, you have to wait for the right moment. I think that nobody is invincible and that has already been proven. Jonas Vingegaard has beaten him and beaten him very well too," Bernal assesses. "I think that Vingegaard is a rider who can do very well, he is waiting for his moment, he doesn't get carried away. And sometimes it is better to have a little patience than just put on a few shows. It is good for cycling, but to win you also have to ride with a cool head," concludes the INEOS Grenadiers rider.

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