Dubai: Three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan has admitted that he will choose racing in the Tour de France over the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, should quarantine rules force him into making a final decision.
This year’s Tour de France is scheduled to run from June 26 to July 18, five days before the start of the rescheduled Tokyo Games.
According to reports, athletes could be asked to isolate for two weeks in the Japanese capital ahead of the Olympics, something that is not very appealing to the three-time world champion from Slovakia.
Should this quarantine period be made mandatory, then many riders, including Sagan, could be forced to choose between the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.
However, the Slovakian rider – who turns up in the UCI WorldTeam Bora-Hansgrohe colours - is hopeful vaccinations against coronavirus will enable athletes to compete in both.
“If we have to decide now, for sure I’m going for the green jersey again,” Sagan was quoted as saying in a section of the media in Europe. “But nobody knows what’s going to happen. We might have to be in Japan two weeks before, but with a vaccination there could be different rules, we still don’t know. We will see what’s going to happen in the next five months.”
Sagan claimed three successive International Cycling Union Road World Championships titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He also won the European Road Cycling Championships in 2016, as well as a record seven green jerseys for the points classification at the Tour de France.
But the 30-year-old has yet to achieve success at the Olympics after he finishing 34th in the road race in London 2012 before an early puncture ended his chances of a medal in the mountain bike competition four years later in Rio de Janeiro.
With Tokyo 2020 postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sagan is now preparing for a busy year that also includes the Giro d’Italia and World Championships.
“We’ll have to see what the schedule will be. For now, I have a schedule up to the Classics. After that, we have to see what I’m going to do,” Sagan said. “We have to decide, because it’s a very important year with the Olympic Games and a World Championships that could be good. We will see how we are going to manage this year. I think we still need some time to plan everything.”