Bernal lifts injury-hit Team INEOS with Tour de Suisse title

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Leader Egan Bernal from Colombia (left) leads the pack over the Gotthard pass during the ninth and final stage of the 83rd Tour de Suisse UCI ProTour cycling race, on Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)
Leader Egan Bernal from Colombia (left) leads the pack over the Gotthard pass during the ninth and final stage of the 83rd Tour de Suisse UCI ProTour cycling race, on Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

Ulrichen, Switzerland (AP) — In a rough month for Team INEOS, Egan Bernal lifted the British squad with overall victory last Sunday in the nine-day Tour de Suisse.

Bernal came to Switzerland to support team leader Geraint Thomas, the 2018 Tour de France champion, who crashed out in a nasty fall on Tuesday.

Thomas’ accident followed teammate and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome suffering season-ending injuries in a training crash in France.

Bernal is still slated to start the Tour de France on July 6 as Thomas’ top aide, though this confirmed race-winning potential after his Paris-Nice title in March.

The 22-year-old Colombian finished 19 seconds ahead of Rohan Dennis overall after they finished Sunday’s stage together, 1 minute, 2 seconds behind Hugh Carthy’s solo breakaway on snow-lined roads.

Bernal was 3:04 clear overall of third-place Patrick Konrad.