By Jonny Long
Primož Roglič won't race either the Critérium du Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse in preparation for another yellow jersey bid at the 2021 Tour de France.
The Slovenian, who came second at last year's French Grand Tour, will race the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège over the coming seven days but after that won't take a start line until the Tour begins on June 26.
The Jumbo-Visma leader almost won the Dauphiné in 2020 before abandoning on the penultimate stage through injury, his Dutch team having confirmed their imperious form ahead of the three-week race.
"He raced a lot last year," Jumbo-Visma sports director Frans Maassen told L'Equipe, "and these two months without racing will allow him to store some freshness to be able to link the Tour de France and the Olympics, which are a big goal for him. This is what we have decided and, barring an incident, there will be no change."
As well as the Tour, finishing on July 18, Roglič hopes to challenge for gold at the Toyko Olympics a week after the peloton arrives on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The only rider in the last 20 years to have won the Tour without going to the Dauphiné was Egan Bernal in 2019, while Marco Pantani was the last rider in 1998 to win without riding either the Dauphiné or the Tour de Suisse.
Dutch broadcaster NOS has also claimed no rider has won the Tour without doing at least one race in the two months leading up to it since 1939, and it could be earlier as they couldn't find stats for the preceding years.
Instead of racing, Roglič will spend time training in the Alps, in Tignes, on his own from the end of May before his Jumbo-Visma team-mates join him for two weeks after the end of the Dauphiné on June 6.
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.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and 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.