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World champion cyclist Alaphilippe to skip Tokyo Olympics

May 14, 2021 GMT
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France's Julian Alaphilippe of the Deceuninck Quick-Step team crosses the finish line to win the Belgian cycling classic and UCI World Tour race Fleche Wallonne, in Huy, Belgium, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
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France's Julian Alaphilippe of the Deceuninck Quick-Step team crosses the finish line to win the Belgian cycling classic and UCI World Tour race Fleche Wallonne, in Huy, Belgium, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

PARIS (AP) — World champion cyclist Julian Alaphilippe has decided to skip the Tokyo Olympics, where he was expected to be a medal contender in the road race.

The French rider said Friday it was a personal choice reached in agreement with the national team.

Alaphilippe is due to become a father for the first time before the Olympics open on July 23, one day before the road race.

He was fourth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and will be only 32 years old at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Alaphilippe has been in good form in the one-day classic races this year, winning his third La Flèche Wallonne title and placing second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He’s expected to return to Belgium to defend his world title in September.

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