This is how Colombian Egan Bernal, champion of the Giro d'Italia 3:05, extended his legacy
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
In 2019, when Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal won the Tour de France, the image of Julián Esteban Gómez, crying with emotion for his idol's victory, went viral.
His tears were the reflection of the emotion of an entire country celebrating the victory of the Zipaquirá champion in one of the most important cycling races in the world.
Today it is Egan Bernal who is crying for Julián Esteban, his young fan, who died this Sunday in a traffic accident while training on the streets of Cundinamarca.
"Today we cry for you Julián, the true Pride of my country," Bernal wrote on his Twitter account accompanied by a video in which he remembers excited Julián celebrating his victory a couple of years ago.
Colombian cyclist Egan Bernal wins the Giro d'Italia
Today we cry for you Julián, the true pride of my country🙏🏽.
- Egan Arley Bernal (@Eganbernal) July 19, 2021
Julián Esteban Gómez was a young promise of cycling.
He was 13 years old and was a native of Zipaquirá, in the north of Cundinamarca, the same municipality where Egan Bernal is from, champion of the Tour de France 2019 and the Giro d'Italia 2021. Gómez was part of "the initiation and sports training processes of the 'Programa Zipaquira Tierra de Campeones ", a cycling training school, according to Wilson García Fajardo, mayor of the municipality.
"His talent and discipline had allowed him to be selected by the Ministry of Sports to join the 'Colombia Talent Program'," said the mayor of Zipaquirá.
This is how they received the cyclist Egan Bernal in his town 1:07
The National Police in Cundinamarca said that Julián Esteban died when he was traveling on his bicycle on the road that leads from Zipaquirá to Cajicá.
"Apparently the minor loses control of the bicycle, falls colliding with a tractor-trailer that was passing through the place, being run over by it," said Major General Juan Alberto Libreros Morales of the Cundinamarca Police.
The Prosecutor's Office investigates the facts.
"I want to be like Egan"
When in 2019 his face in tears went viral throughout the country, Julián Esteban expressed in a local media his admiration for Egan Bernal, an international cycling figure.
"I felt an incredible emotion, because the tears came to me because he is a very kind partner with one," Julián Esteban told Blu Radio in 2019.
"I want to be like Egan and I'm going to be like Egan," he said then.
(Credit: Private file)
(Credit: Private file)
But his dreams were cut short by this accident.
The minor's uncle, Guillermo Caicedo, who was with him at the time of the accident, related the events like this to Noticias Caracol:
"We were training ... and the mule driver began to harass us with the horns and to bring the mule (the truck) too close," Caicedo told the local media.
"I didn't realize at what moment, how he stumbled and went under the mule ... when I stopped and turned to look at the child he was already under the tires."
According to the preliminary analysis of the moment when the scene was lifted, the authorities observed that the boy lost his path due to the fact that the road had a lot of grit, so he falls to the asphalt and is run over by the truck.
The Police said that the facts are being investigated by the Prosecutor's Office and it will be this that determines what actually happened.
Police said the boy lost "control of the bicycle" and that was when he was hit by the tractor-trailer.
Authorities did not provide the identity of the driver.
CNN contacted the Attorney General's Office and the Attorney General's Office of Zipaquirá to learn more details of the case, but they have not responded to our request.
Tributes to Julián Esteban
After the death of the minor, the tributes have not been long in coming.
Egan Bernal published a video of the meeting he had with Julián Esteban, who, excited, hugged him.
Along with a mural by Bernal in Zipaquirá where an image of the young cyclist appeared, they made a tribute with flowers and candles in his honor.
We are left with this great memory, the drive, the courage and the passion for dreams, that memory is captured in this mural in # Zipaquirá, in which today we pay tribute to a young athlete who touched thousands of hearts.
- Wilson García Fajardo (@wilsongarciaf) July 18, 2021
"We are left with this great memory, the drive, the courage and the passion for dreams, that memory is captured in this mural in Zipaquirá, in which today we pay tribute to a young athlete who touched thousands of hearts," wrote the mayor of the municipality on Twitter.
The Ministry of Sports of Colombia highlighted the "passion, his dreamy spirit and his inspiring smile to motivate the next champions" of the country.