Romain Bardet is heading back to the Tour de France for the first time since 2020

Frenchman will return to his home Grand Tour with Team DSM after leaving the Giro d'Italia early due to illness

Romain Bardet at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Romain Bardet is set to return to the Tour de France next month. The Frenchman confirmed the news in a social media post on Monday morning.

It will be the first time that Bardet has ridden the Tour for Team DSM, who he joined at the beginning of 2021; the last time he rode the French Grand Tour was in 2020, his final year with AG2R La Mondiale. He failed to finish on that occasion, suffering from concussion.

The 31-year-old left the Giro d'Italia early last month due to illness. He was lying in 4th overall when he was forced to leave the race on stage 13

Last year, he missed the Tour for the first year since 2012, as he raced the Giro instead, where he finished seventh on general classification, and then the Vuelta a España, where he won a stage, his first victory in three years.

“Super excited to announce I will be at the Tour de France with DSM! We have been building up to this one with everyone so looking forward to racing in front of our French fans again,” he wrote on Instagram.

Bardet was looking good at the Giro, as he was high up on the general classification, alongside riders like Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious), Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and eventual winner Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe).

When his teammate Romain Combaud was interviewed after stage 14 at that race, he said: "There was only one week left. It's horrible for us. He is a great champion." However, now Bardet has the opportunity to make up for it.

He won the Tour of the Alps back in April, his first general classification win since 2013, proving he had the legs for an overall challenge, one which he was forced out of doing at the Giro.

The Frenchman has twice finished on the podium of the Tour de France, finishing second in 2016 and then third in 2017, both times behind Chris Froome. He will be joining his compatriot and old rival Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) at the Tour next month, so there will be a bit of nostalgia at the race.

The Tour begins with a time trial in Copenhagen on the 1 July. There is not a lot of time-trialling in this year's race, which could favour Bardet, but it is hard to know if he is anywhere near the level of two-time winner Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), who are considered the favourites.

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