Tokyo 2020: Peter Sagan pulls out of Olympics after undergoing knee surgery following Tour de France crash
Sagan suffered the knee injury during Stage Three into Pontivy after a high-speed crash with Caleb Ewan. The Slovakian, seven times the winner of the Green Jersey competition at the Tour de France, will miss a second consecutive Olympic men's road race having pulled out to focus on mountain biking ahead of Rio 2016.
'I cannot move my leg' – Sagan abandons before Stage 12
Sagan had been due to ride the road race alongside older brother Juraj.
Winner of the green jersey on seven occasions, Sagan endured a disappointing Tour de France by his standards after being involved in a high-speed crash with Caleb Ewan on Stage Three into Pontivy.
‘Another disaster’ – Ewan and Sagan wiped out as Merlier wins chaotic sprint
This will be the second consecutive Olympic road race that Sagan, one of the most decorated riders of his generation, will miss, having pulled out in 2016 to instead compete in mountain biking.
Describing the incident that ended his Tour, Sagan said: “The chainring hit my knee and entered the skin above the patella, leaving a deep wound.
“We cleaned the wound as much as possible to prevent infection because of the dirt from the chain oil. However, after a few days, an inflammation developed in the bursa on top of the patella, and, unfortunately, I had to abandon the Tour.”
Sagan finished 34th in the road race at London 2012.
He has been the subject of intense speculation over his future, with TotalEnergies rumoured to be close to securing his signing on a three-year deal from 2022.
The deal would also see bike manufacturers Specialized come onboard with the French team, along with Sagan’s familiar cabal of recurring teammates, including Daniel Oss and Maciej Bodnar.
Juraj Sagan is also expected to follow his brother to TotalEnergies.
The elder Sagan will now team up with highly-rated 21-year-old Kubiš, who has finished third at each of the last two editions of the Slovakian National Road Championships.
He currently rides for Dukla Banská Bystrica, the Slovakian Continental team where both Sagans began their careers.
The men's road race is scheduled for 24 July on a course that will finish at the Fuji Speedway circuit.
Vincenzo Nibali became the latest big-name rider to withdraw from the remainder of the Tour de France in order to prepare for a tilt at a gold medal.
“I raced a different Tour compared to my past experience, but similar to 2016 before Rio,” said Nibali. “The Tour is a boost for everyone; you can compare with the top [riders] in the world. I think it was the perfect way for me to reach the top form for Tokyo.
The feeling is good, but for a race like the Olympics you need the entire team at the top.
"I’m sure my team-mate [Giulio] Ciccone will be a key rider for the team.”
Nibali crashed on the final descent in Rio in 2016 and failed to finish the race, eventually won by Greg van Avermaet.
Damiano Caruso, Alberto Bettiol and Gianni Moscon are the other three members of a strong Italian team named for Tokyo 2020.
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