By Jonny Long
Julian Alaphilippe has ruled himself out of being selected for France’s Tokyo Olympics squad this summer.
The world champion says he will not race the Mount Fuji course for the men’s road race, and that he had to make the difficult decision between multiple end-of-season objectives.
“After having thought for a long time, in agreement with the coach of the France team and my team Deceuninck - Quick-Step, not to be a candidate for selection for the next Tokyo Olympics,” Alaphilippe said of his decision.
“It is a personal and well-considered decision. End-of-season objectives have been defined and in this sense choices must be made.”
The Tokyo Olympics road race will take place on July 24, less than a week after the end of the Tour de France, which Alaphilippe will presumably ride, having won multiple stages and taken the yellow twice in the last two editions.
After the Tour, the 28-year-old will be focusing on preparing for the 2021 World Road Race Championships, taking place in Flanders, where Alaphilippe will be looking to defend his rainbow jersey, again on a course that suits his talents.
“I would be very proud to wear the France team jersey for the next world championships,” Alaphilippe said, signifying his remaining central goal this season, after coming up short at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. “I obviously wish the best for the team that will be aligned on this occasion.”
The men’s road race event at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics takes in 4,865m of climbing, which will see riders tackle the lower slopes of Mount Fuji.
The likes of Switzerland's Marc Hirschi, Great Britain's Simon Yates and Spain's Alejandro Valverde, amongst other top riders, have all announced their intention of trying to take gold in Japan this summer.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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