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Rome Reports

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Winner of the Giro d’Italia gives his bike and champion's jersey to Pope Francis

-"It’s nice to see you climb. How strong you are…"

-"Thank you, that’s very kind".

-"How many cups of Colombian coffee do you drink before?"

The last winner of the Giro d’Italia, Colombian Egan Bernal, met with Pope Francis.

Winner Giro d’Italia 2021
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am very happy, still in shock with what happened. I was very surprised to be in the Pope’s presence. It was really a unique experience. I think it’s the most beautiful experience I’ve ever had… I grew up in a Catholic Family. I’m Catholic, so this has been the most significant encounter with God so far. I think the experience was one-of-a-kind.”

Egan gave the Pope the Giro winner’s prize, the so-called “maglia rosa” and a bicycle painted white for the Pope.

Winner of Giro d’Italia 2021
“I told him it was an honor to be there, and that, on behalf of all Colombians, I wanted to give him a bike painted especially for him, and the Giro’s maglia rosa, from me and all Colombians, who need his blessing right now. Then he blessed my girlfriend and me.”

He also blessed their rosaries. And praised sports.

“Because in sports, we give the best of ourselves.”

The Colombian cyclist says he enjoyed every moment of the very special visit. He also spoke about his future, saying he still has a lot of work to do.

Winner of Giro d’Italia 2021
“I think professionally, there is still a lot to do. Also on the personal and spiritual levels. After an encounter like this, I have a desire to reflect on who I am as a person. So there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Egan Bernal is the fourth cyclist under 25 to win a Giro.

He won the Tour de France in 2019.

Now he just has to win the Vuelta a España to get the so-called “triple crown.”

Javier Romero