Bernal dreams of winning Vuelta a Espana to complete grand tour list

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ZIPAQUIRA, Colombia, June 19 (Reuters) - Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal said he hoped to one day win the Vuelta a Espana and become the eighth man to triumph in all three of the sport’s big tours.

Bernal, who won the Giro d’Italia in May to take his second grand tour title after winning the Tour de France in 2019, suffered from back problems last year but said he was getting ready for the Vuelta in August.

“I don’t know if I can be at the level you need to be at to win one of the big tours but I’ll be there,” the Ineos-Grenadiers rider said in his hometown in central Colombia.

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“Right now my dream would be to one day win the Vuelta a Espana so I could win all of the big three,” said Bernal, speaking in the Salt Cathedral carved into the salt mines of Zipaquira, 180 metres underground.

“I feel bad saying it because any cyclist knows how difficult that is. But I’d say, why not dream? I don’t think it will be this year, but I am 24 years old and maybe one day I can do the Vuelta a Espana and complete the Triple Crown. It would be a dream come true.”

This year’s Vuelta runs from Aug. 14 to Sept. 5.

Luis Herrera, in 1987, and Nairo Quintana in 2016 are the only Colombians to have won the Spanish tour.

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Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; writing by Andrew Downie; editing by Clare Fallon

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