German star Tony Martin said he will not target the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo because the course is so demanding.
Speaking to German radio MDR, the four-time world time trial champion said he will instead target the 2020 road cycling world championships in Switzerland.
“My plan is to miss the Olympics to prepare 100 percent for the World Championships, which will suit me better,” the 34-year-old said. “My manager was there, Jörg Werner, who looked at the course and described it as extremely difficult.”
Martin, now riding with Jumbo-Visma as a road captain, said the hilly Tokyo elite men’s road racing route is simply too heavy for him, and will step aside to let younger, better-suited riders have a shot. He’ll also skip on a chance for Olympic medals in the time trial to train instead for the 2020 road worlds.
Martin won world time trials titles in 2011-13 and 2016, and scored a silver medal in the 2012 Olympics behind Bradley Wiggins. Though he later won the world time trial title, he struggled in a hilly race against the clock in Rio de Janeiro and could only muster 12th. Martin was ninth in the Yorkshire worlds TT after crashing out of the Vuelta a España.
Martin has emerged as an important motor for Jumbo-Visma, and played a key role in helping Primoz Roglic win the overall at the Vuelta in September. Though he is not the powerhouse he once was against the clock, he is the reigning national TT champion for Germany.