Brailsford has become accustomed to toasting victory on the Champs-Elysees but his team’s seventh win in the last eight editions has a different accent as the 22-year-old Bernal becomes the first Colombian to win the Tour.
The wunderkind, who took control of the race on the Col de l’Iseran on Friday, could enjoy the customary glass of champagne on the final stage to the capital, where Caleb Ewan won stage 21 for his third success of his debut Tour.
The youngest winner of the Tour since 1909 crossed the line hand in hand with last year’s winner and team-mate Geraint Thomas, who had thrown his support behind Bernal as soon as he seized yellow on Friday.
Bernal, aged 22 years and 196 days, becomes a Grand Tour winner in only his second career three-week race, but his maturity was evident both on the bike and on the podium, where he used four different languages to deliver his victory speech.
“I think I should say thank you to all my team, thank you ‘G’ (Thomas) for the opportunity and all the team for their support and belief in me,” he said in English.
“I think today I am the most happy guy in the world. I just won the Tour de France and I can’t believe it.”
Thomas collected second place to give Britain a 10th podium finish in the history of the race, while it was a first one-two for what was Team Sky since Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome in 2012.
It was a bittersweet end for Thomas, who had hoped to be celebrating himself but was happy to see the title remain with the team.
“Egan is the future, he’s just unbelievable,” the Welshman said. “And to be a part of that with him, I’m sure when I’m 45 and fat and old and sat in a pub watching him win his 10th Tour de France, I’ll be like, ‘I taught him everything he knows’.
“He’s such a wise head on such young shoulders and he’s got a great support network around him and I think that’ll be key now going forward for him.”
Regarding his own future, Thomas added: “It’s just great to be a part of it. I’ve got a couple more years to be racing at the top, so I’ll make the most of that.”