IN THE Team’s first Tour de France as Team INEOS, Egan Bernal was the toast of Paris, making history by becoming the first ever Colombian to win the Maillot Jaune in the 106th edition of the race.
It was a magnificent effort from the whole team and staff throughout the three weeks, with 2018 winner Geraint Thomas joining Bernal on the podium, securing second place overall, for a remarkable 1-2 finish – with the pair embracing as they crossed the finish line in Paris.
The Team's Tour de France record went from strength-to-strength as a result of Bernal’s victory – that’s now a remarkable seven Tour victories, 17 stage victories and 91 yellow jerseys.
The man of the moment was visibly overcome with emotion at the end of the final stage, commenting: "Wow. It's incredible. It doesn't seem true. I've won the Tour de France but I'm struggling to understand it all.
"I saw my family after the finish and we celebrated together. It's just an incredible feeling.”
In only his second year at World Tour level, Bernal’s victory completes a quite remarkable 18 months or so for the 22-year-old Colombian, who only joined the Team at the start of the 2018 season.
A winner at Paris-Nice and Tour de Suisse already this year, this victory elevates him to superstar status both in the sport and back home in Colombia.
Victorious Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, added: “To be able to deliver Colombia's first ever Tour de France champion is something really special – I feel very proud.
"A lot of people may have questioned having two leaders. It’s worked to perfection and you can’t get better than second and first.
"It’s a privilege to get to work with all these people – fantastic riders, fantastic staff, fantastic new owners."
A Tour which offered countless twists and turns and endless dramas, the likes of which this race hasn’t seen for many editions – yet at the end of one of the most unpredictable races in years, Bernal and Team INEOS reigned victorious, for a first Grand Tour success under INEOS’ ownership.
Chapeau Team INEOS!
Name: Egan Bernal
DOB: January 13th 1997 (age 22 years)
Born: Zipaquira, Colombia
Joined Team INEOS: 2018
2018 Honours: Tour of California & Tour Colombia
2019 Honours: Paris-Nice, Tour de Suisse & Tour de France