Cycling-France's Bardet to skip Tokyo Olympics

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Giro d'Italia - Stage 21 - Senago to Milan, Italy - May 30, 2021 Team DSM rider Romain Bardet of France rides past the Duomo di Milano during the time trial REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

PARIS (Reuters) - France's chances of a medal in the Olympics road race took a major blow when Romain Bardet said he would not take part in the Tokyo Games on Monday.

"After a discussion with the team, (coach) Thomas (Voeckler) and myself, we decided that I would not participate in the Olympics this year," Bardet told French sports daily L'Equipe.

"We have big goals with DSM at the end of the season and it wasn't possible to peak in Tokyo with this programme."

Bardet, who finished the Giro d'Italia seventh overall, will take part in the Vuelta a Espana from Aug 14-Sept 5.

Earlier this year, world champion Julian Alaphilippe also said he could not go to the Olympics, while former Tour de France podium finisher Thibaut Pinot has been struggling with back pains and has not raced since the Tour of the Alps at the end of April.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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