Tony Martin has decided not to go for gold in the time trial at Tokyo 2020, in what will likely be his last chance at Olympic glory.
Instead, the German will target the 2020 Road World Championships in Switzerland in September, where he will attempt to win a record fifth title.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Martin says the reason behind his decision is that the course doesn’t suit him, with the 22.1km circuit, which competitors will complete twice, containing 423m of climbing.
“My manager has been there,” Martin told German television network MDR. “He looked at the course and described it as extremely heavy. It hurts because I’ve always thought that the Olympics are very special.”
To make up for this disappointment, Martin will instead aim to win another time trial rainbow jersey, which would see him pull clear of Fabian Cancellara, the pair currently tied on four titles apiece.
“I will skip the Olympics and am going to prepare myself 100% for the World Championships,” he added. “I see more opportunities for me there.”
The Swiss time trial course is 46km in length, featuring a more manageable 278m of climbing.
Martin finished runner-up to Bradley Wiggins in the time trial event at London 2012, then finishing 12th in Rio in 2016 as Cancellara took gold.
At the 2019 Yorkshire Worlds, Martin managed only ninth in the time trial, having recently crashed out of the Vuelta a España on stage 19. At Innsbruck 2018 he finished seventh, ninth again at Bergen 2017, while his most recent victory came in Doha in 2016.
Martin is going into the second year of his two-year deal with Jumbo-Visma, who boast a strong line-up for 2020, including Tom Dumoulin, Steven Kruijswijk and Vuelta winner Primož Roglič. The 34-year-old will undoubtedly provide essential domestique duties once more as the Dutch squad target further Grand Tour victories.