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Tour de France

Romain Bardet confirms return to Tour de France after Giro d’Italia abandon

Can Bardet stop the Slovenians? DSM captain returns to home tour after lighting up Giro before being sidelined with sickness.

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

The Frenchman confirmed via social media Monday that three weeks on home roads is on the agenda after he was forced out of the Giro d’Italia last month.

“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.

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Bardet flew high through the Giro this spring, matching GC heavyweights through the mountains and looking poised to crack the podium.

However, sickness soon pulled the handbrake on his pink jersey dream and the DSM captain was forced out of the race on stage 13.

The Tour de France was always pencilled into Bardet’s racebook for 2022.

A rapid comeback from his Giro-ending sickness means Bardet got the all-clear to line up alongside top favorites Primož Roglič and defending champion Tadej Pogačar next month.

“See you all in Copenhagen for the Grand Départ,” he wrote.

Bardet’s exit left a hole in the Giro d’Italia last month.

The 31-year-old looked back to the form that took him to two Tour podiums in the past and added an attacking luster to the race.

Bardet will line up as a key challenger for the yellow jersey and give home fans something to cheer amid doubts over Thibaut Pinot and Julian Alaphilippe’s form.

Pinot rode high at the Tour of the Alps but was dropped in the final of the Tour de Suisse stage Sunday, while Alaphilippe is still on the return from the dramatic crash that put his Liège-Bastogne-Liége in a ditch in the spring.

Bardet surprised at the Giro, and could do again at the Tour. But does he have the legs to match Roglič and Pogačar?

He’s unlikely to see any racing before the Copenhagen TT early next month while the Slovenian supremos have looked red-hot in recent racing and training efforts.

Bardet’s form may be a questionmark, but his return to the Tour de France will add intrigue and attacking flair to a race centered around two Slovenians.