Romain Bardet announced on Monday that he will not compete in the Tokyo Olympics road race. This has dealt a serious blow to France’s prospects of winning a medal. “We decided not to compete in the Olympics this year after a conversation with the squad, (coach) Thomas (Voeckler), and myself,” Bardet stated. “We have high ambitions with DSM at the conclusion of the season, and this schedule didn’t allow us to peak in Tokyo,” he added.
Bardet, who finished seventh overall in the Giro d’Italia, will compete in the Vuelta a Espana from August 14 to September 5. World champion Julian Alaphilippe said earlier this year that he will be unable to compete in the Olympics, while former Tour de France podium finisher Thibaut Pinot has been suffering from back difficulties and has not raced since the Tour of the Alps in late April.
Bardet is well-known for his climbing skills, making him a prominent competitor in Grand Tours. So far in his career, his finest performances have come on home turf. He won three Tour de France stages in three consecutive years, from 2015 to 2017; he finished in the top ten overall for five consecutive years (from 2014 to 2018), and he finished on the podium twice: second overall in 2016 and third overall in 2017. He has also worn the Young rider classification jersey, and in 2019 he earned the Mountains classification jersey as well as the overall Combativity Award.