Hero's welcome for Colombia's Tour de France winner
Cyclist Egan Bernal, the first Latin American to win the Tour de France, got a hero's welcome from thousands of fans in his hometown of Zipaquira, Colombia, on Wednesday (August 7).
The 22-year-old Bernal, the youngest rider to win the race in 110 years, promised a cheering crowd in the main square of this small Andean city that he would pursue further triumphs.
"I want to have my feet on the ground, to continue to work as I have been until now, to enjoy the bike, and if some day we can win another Tour de France, we'll try for a third.
If we win the third, then a fourth and a fifth," Bernal said.
"This is like a drug, you win one and you want more and more," said the climbing phenomenon, who gave Team Ineos -- formerly Team Sky -- their seventh title in the last eight editions.
Bernal was crowned the Tour winner in July after retaining the overall leader's yellow jersey during the 21st and final stage, beating teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas of Britain by one minute 11 seconds.
Colombian riders, accustomed to the thin air and steep slopes of the Andes, have a long, proud tradition of being competitive on the Tour.
Rigoberto Uran and Nairo Quintana also rode in this year's race.
The race was just Bernal's second Grand Tour, after finishing 15th last year.