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Egan Bernal is first Colombian to win Tour de France

Egan Bernal wins 2019 Tour de France
Colombia's Egan Bernal (C) wears the overall leader's yellow jersey as he celebrates his victory at the Tour de France in Paris on Sun., July 28, 2019.  Getty

Egan Bernal has become the first Colombian to win the Tour de France as the three-week race ended with the 21st and final stage on the Champs-Elysees. At 22, Bernal is the youngest Tour winner in the post-World War II era.

"I cannot believe it. It's just incredible. I am sorry. I have no words," Bernal said through a translator. "I still can't understand what is happening to me."

The slightly built Colombian with a killer instinct on the road proved to be the strongest of the 176 strong men who roared off from the start in Brussels, Belgium, on July 6 on their three-week, 2,092-mile odyssey that delivered the most absorbing, drama-packed Tour in decades and a new cycling superstar in the making: Bernal.

Bernal succeeded Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas as the British outfit posted a seventh Tour victory with a fourth different rider in eight years.

Thomas, a 33-year-old from Wales, had to settle for second place this year. Dutch rider Steven Kruijswijk completed the podium Sunday.

Keeping with Tour tradition on its final day, the stage started at a pedestrian pace and in a joyful atmosphere. Bernal chatted with French rival Julian Alaphilippe and raised a glass of champagne as he rode.

Speaking in French before the start, Bernal thanked "France for organizing the most beautiful race in the world, and the most beautiful victory of my life."

Egan Bernal
Colombia's Egan Bernal (C) celebrates his overall leader's yellow jersey on the podium of the 21st and last stage of the 106th edition of the Tour de France cycling race between Rambouillet and Paris Champs-Elysees, in Paris on Sun. July 28, 2019. Getty
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