Egan Bernal's crowning Sunday as the Tour de France's youngest post-World War II champion, and its first from South America, heralded the birth of a new supernova in the cycling universe. Winning a Tour for the ages at the unusually young age of 22 immediately prompted a question, reports the AP: How many more might the Colombian win? Get this: He's younger than the Tour's greatest champions—five-time winners Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain—all were when they were first crowned. Pity those in the peloton who also hope to win future editions of cycling's greatest race: They could be in for quite a wait. "I am the most happy guy in the world. I just won the Tour de France, and, yeah, I can't believe it," Bernal said, looking bemused on the podium in the race winner's jersey.
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 2,092-mile odyssey that delivered the most absorbing, drama-packed Tour in decades and confirmation that the prodigy Bernal is the real deal. Riding a yellow bike, and cheered by Colombian fans who were partying even before he rattled up the cobblestones of the Champs-Elysees, Bernal crossed the line with his teammate Geraint Thomas, the 2018 champion who this year finished second. Steven Kruijswijk completed what Tour organizers said was the tightest podium in the 116-year history of the race, with just 1 minute, 31 seconds separating first and third places after three weeks of racing. (The AP has much more on the race here.)