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Youngest Tour de France winner for more than 100 years crowned Posted On 29 July 2019

At the age of just 22, Colombia’s Egan Bernal has raced to become the  youngest cyclist ever to win the Tour de France

It’s taken over a century for the record to be broken; and this title has now been claimed by Bernal who was watched making history by his father and fiancée. His win is also the first time that a Colombian has won the prestigious race, making him an instant national hero.

Bernal’s talent was discovered when he was eight and had joined a mountain bike class for underprivileged children run by the government in the mountainous town of Zipaquira, located up in the Andes.

Fabio Rodriguez, who coached the young Bernal, says that he instantly knew that he was special: “He was always disciplined and a hard worker. You never had to tell him to do something twice.”

His subsequent rise to the top of the sport has been rapid, with Bernal supporting his teammate Geraint Thomas for the Briton’s maiden Tour de France victory last year; in which he himself finished 15th overall.

Welshman Thomas has returned the favour by supporting his teammate Bernal in his push in Paris this year, advising him to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy his success: “Enjoy it, soak it all up and don’t worry about crying, because all real men cry.”

With only the final processional stage to complete, Bernal spoke of his dream as a child becoming a reality: “My dad couldn’t talk at first but when he managed, he congratulated me.

“He was about to cry. For us, it’s a dream. We used to watch the Tour on TV and we thought it was something unreachable.

“As a kid, you think ‘How cool it would be to be there one day’, but it looked so far away. Here we are and I’m very emotional.”

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