French-hope Romain Bardet, will race the Tour de France instead of the Giro d’Italia this year as he looks to build on two previous podium finishes.
The 29-year-old was second overall in 2016 and third in 2017 but after a disappointing 15th place in 2019, he was expected to turn his attentions this season to the Giro.
However, with the Tour de France now being raced later in the year (August 29-September 20) due to the impact of the coronavirus, AG2R’s team leader has had a change of heart.
“I woke up this morning with a smile,” Bardet told a conference call.
“I will be part of it. It’s a big prospect. I’m hungry to get involved in the fight.”
Cycling’s governing body, the UCI has said May’s postponed Giro d’Italia would be raced after the Tour de France.
The Vuelta a Espana will take place after that, with dates to be announced in May.
“It (the lockdown) has not been easy to manage,” added Bardet.
“In the morning, we weren’t sure why we were riding the bike.” He added: “There are still big doubts about the format of the Giro and the Vuelta. We can see that the Tour de France takes center stage this season.
“I don’t see myself spending September at home waiting for the Giro and the Vuelta.”
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini