Another blow for the French road cycling team in view of the Olympic Games (Olympics). After Julian Alaphilippe, Romain Bardet announced that he would not participate in the road race in Japan, around Mount Fuji, on July 24. A month and a half before the meeting he had initially announced as ” the high point “ of his season, the 30-year-old climber, three-time winner of stages in the Tour de France and second in the general classification of the 2016 edition, withdrew. The Auvergnat wishes to favor other events, such as the Tour of Spain, which begins on August 14. He announced it to his coach, Thomas Voeckler.
« After a three-way discussion with the team, Thomas and myself, we decided that I will not participate in the Olympics this year., justifies Bardet, interviewed Monday June 7 by The team. We have big goals with DSM [l’équipe allemande avec laquelle il est engagé depuis cette année] which await us at the end of the season and it was not possible to have a peak of form in Tokyo with this program. ”
This tricolor defection is therefore added to that of Julian Alaphilippe. The latter had announced in May his decision « personal and well thought out », motivated by family reasons, he who is expecting his first child during the month of June.
Without Bardet or Alaphilippe, the medal chances of the France team are reduced. Thomas Voeckler can still count on Guillaume Martin, David Gaudu and Warren Barguil to shine on the mountainous course of the Olympic race (over 236 kilometers), with three major climbs on the program.