(AFP) – Romain Bardet, who took the king of the mountains title in this year’s Tour de France, said he was ending the season early to “recuperate physically and mentally.”
The AG2R La Mondiale rider finished 15th overall on the Tour but after a gruelling campaign said he needed to recharge his batteries.
“After a few days of personal reflection and exchanges with team management it seemed clear there is a need to recuperate physically and mentally to come back stronger next season,” said the 28-year-old, targeting an “exciting” 2020.
Team head Vincent Lavenu said the team supported the decision by Bardet, second in the 2016 Tour and third in 2017.
“After conscientiously analyzing his season with the sports and medical staff, it appeared that it was necessary for Romain to put an end to his racing in 2019,” Lavenu said.
“It is a thoughtful and well-considered decision that will allow us to define with him the profile of the 2020 season and its goals, which will be high as always.”