Romain Bardet said he would miss the 2020 Tour de France, focusing instead on the Giro d’Italia, the Tokyo Olympics and the World Championships.
This will see the 29-year-old break a seven-year streak of riding his home Grand Tour. Between 2014 and 2018, the Frenchman consistently finished in the top 10, with a best result of second in 2016.
“I have never hidden my desire to participate in the Giro d’Italia in my best condition, with the desire to shine. It is time to open new horizons, and dividing up the season with these three major objectives, is exciting,” Bardet said.
“It was not easy to give up the Tour de France, which has brought me so much, and which is a race that I love deeply. But it seemed like a good time to open a parenthesis to the beautiful story that connects me to this race, with the intention of coming back even better next year.”
With three time trials, next year’s Giro route is not the most favorable to Bardet’s climbing skill set, but he seems to be up for a challenge.
“It’s a route which entices me enormously,” Bardet said, according to Cyclingnews. “There are long stages with huge elevation gain, especially in the final week. It’s true, there are three time trials, but there was a lot of time trialling this year and a climber won.”
Earning leadership duties for the Tour for the French outfit will be Pierre Latour, who was 13th and the best young rider in 2018.