06:30 11 Aug 2019
2019 Tour de France winner Egan Bernal says he still cannot believe that he claimed victory in the classic race.
The 22-year-old became the youngest winner of cycling’s biggest race in 110 years, claiming first place ahead of Ineos teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas last month.
Read more: Valencia sign NBA champion Loyd
“To be honest, I don’t really believe it yet,” Bernal said on the Team Ineos website. “I feel the same as I did before the Tour. I think I just need a couple of days at home, staying really calm, and then I’ll start to believe that I have won the Tour. I can’t process it.
“I have won the biggest race, but I’ll still be happy to win a small race. Right now I think that I am the same guy that started the Tour in Belgium one month ago.”
Bernal had only raced the Tour once before – finishing 15th last year while helping Thomas to victory – but he coped admirably with the pressure of co-leadership of the team.
“Maybe the key to winning the Tour is just trying to enjoy it,” Bernal said. “During the Tour, the media talk about pressure, pressure, pressure, but if I’d started to think about that, maybe I wouldn’t have ridden the same.
“But throughout the Tour I knew I had prepared in the best way I could. What could I do then? Just enjoy it and ride as fast as I could.
Read more: Tour of Poland pays tribute to Lambrecht
“I knew I would do my best so I would have been happy with any result – either winning the Tour or helping G win. In the end I just knew I needed to go full gas, enjoy the race, and stay calm.”
The Colombian added, “It was just amazing. I almost cried on the podium. When I was really young, I saw (Alberto) Contador and the big battles with (Andy) Schleck, then guys like (Sir Bradley) Wiggins and (Chris) Froomey.
“I saw them on the TV. And wow, I couldn’t imagine that one day I would be there. On the podium I was thinking of them. It was just amazing because my Dad and my girlfriend were there. It was a special moment.”
OGS: Man United had more money to spend
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits that the Premier League giants had more money to spend in the recently-closed transfer window.
The Red Devils made just three new signings ahead of the 2019/20 season, purchasing Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James joining for a total of £145m.
Read more: West Brom sign Charlie Austin
Asked if they had the resources to further add to their squad, Solskjaer said: “There is money available when there are the right players available.
“It is not about a quick fix, it is about a longer rebuild. It is not time to change that attitude when you haven’t got the correct answers from the players you wanted.
“When the transfer window closed there was a feeling of relief. I am delighted with the three that we have signed.”
One of the players United were linked with but did not manage to acquire was Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Christian Eriksen.
Former United player Paul Scholes wishes the club had pushed harder to land the Dane, but still believes the team can finish in the top four of the Premier League.
“I was quite excited when Christian Eriksen got mentioned,” Scholes told Robbie Savage’s Premier League Breakfast.
“He could have made a big difference to United in the way [Kevin] De Bruyne plays for [Manchester] City, creating chances and scoring goals.
“But they haven’t got that and they have some good players so the target is top four and I think they will make it.”