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Romain Bardet to skip Tour de France for Giro d'Italia

Joe Robinson
13 Nov 2019

Frenchman searching for 'new horizons' in 2020 awat from Tour

Romain Bardet will skip the Tour de France for the first since 2012 in order to target the Giro d'Italia and Tokyo Olympics road race. AG2R La Mondiale confirmed that Bardet's three main goals for the 2020 season would be the Giro in May, the Olympics in August and then the World Championships road race in Switzerland in September, but crucially not the Tour.

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. 

However, poor form in 2019 saw Bardet fall short of his previous best. While he managed to win the King of the Mountains polka dot jersey, he could only muster 15th on General Classification, 30 minutes adrift of winner Egan Bernal.

This disappointing result caused Bardet to end his season directly after the Tour in order to 'mentally and physically regenerate'. 

For 2020, Bardet is now targetting a new challenge by making his debut at the Giro. On the face of it, a tough final week in the mountains could suit the natural climber, however, the prospect of three individual time trials could create problems in the fight for the Maglia Rosa.

Looking for 'new horizons', Bardet said he was looking forward to making his debut at the Giro although admits missing the Tour was a tough decision.

'I have never hidden my desire to participate in the Giro d’Italia in my best condition, with the desire to shine,' Bardet said. 'It’s time to open new horizons, and dividing up the season with these three major objectives is exciting.

'It was not easy to give up the Tour de France, which has brought me so much, and which is a race 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.'

The Giro d'Italia 2020 starts in Budapest, Hungary on Saturday 9th May.