Bernal conquers Beyrède to take race lead

03 Aug 2020

Bernal conquers Beyrède to take race lead

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Egan Bernal praised his teammates after they executed the ‘perfect’ stage plan as he led home a Team INEOS 1-2 to take the overall lead at Tour de l’Occitanie.

Bernal stormed to victory atop the Col de Beyrède on the Queen stage, with Pavel Sivakov finishing second to move up to second on General Classification. 

The pair are in a strong position with one stage remaining after a fantastic team performance saw Team INEOS lead the peloton from the start of stage three until the finish line, which Bernal revealed was their plan.
Egan Bernal

Egan Bernal

Dylan, Castro and Andrey did a perfect job and then Chris and Tao and Pavel did a great job too - it was perfect.”
He told “We came here to win the race, we knew we had a good team and we could control the whole race.

“We were in the front from kilometre zero until the final, we deserved to win the race as we took on the responsibility. The team did a really good job, a really good lead out until the last kilometre and then I attacked in the last part of the climb. It was practically just two Team INEOS riders at the end." 

Bernal singled out Sivakov for praise, with his Russian teammate working hard to deliver him to the ideal position on the climb, before then holding off other GC contenders behind to complete a fantastic 1-2 finish. 

He continued: “Pavel was impressive, I think he has improved his level a lot since last season and he will be a key rider in the Tour de France. 

“I think it is good training for the Tour de France, this has been good for the Tour group and everything went perfectly today. We have not ridden together too much this year, it’s a strange feeling, and we need this time to be together as a group and ride together as a group again.

“Today was perfect, Dylan, Castro and Andrey did a perfect job and then Chris and Tao and Pavel did a great job too - it was perfect.”

Despite the impressive showing, Bernal revealed that the stop-start nature of this season did create a few pre-race nerves, but that the form of the team quickly quelled any doubts he may have had. 

He said: “You arrive here and have trained hard to try and win the race, but you are a little bit nervous as you have the responsibility of the team to get the result. But in the final, when you are there, you are a bit more relaxed as you have the numbers and you’re with the best guys.  

“Now I just need to get through the upcoming races, I won’t have too much stress until the Tour now and I am in good condition and just need to save the legs for the Tour de France.”