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Jonas Vingegaard has not been picked by Denmark for the Olympic Games, with his omission confirmed now that the four-man line-up has been completed (Photo: Aurelien Vialatte)

Jonas Vingegaard, the two-time Tour de France champion, has been left out of Denmark’s road team for the Olympic Games in Paris later this summer.

Though he is currently on the comeback trail, training properly again, after a serious crash at Itzulia Basque Country (2.UWT) two months ago, he is expected to be race fit by the time the road events at the Olympics roll around. The Olympic TT takes place on July 27th, with the road race due to unfold on August 3rd.

Mads Pedersen, Mattias Skjelmose (both Lidl-Trek) and Michael Mørkøv (Astana) had already been announced as the first three riders for Denmark’s four-man team. And now Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) has been added as the fourth rider. He will compete in both the road race and the TT.

While Vingegaard (Visma Lease a Bike) is the top Danish rider of the current generation, and the best against the watch, his specialises in performing in stage races. He did not ride any one-day races last year and had started none this year by the time he suffered his crash.

The Danish cycling federation has now decided to appoint Pedersen as team leader – as he is a potential winner of the road race in Paris – and has selected a team that will row in fully behind him. Vingegaard has been overlooked despite saying in recent months he would like to be picked for Paris.

Bjerg said he was delighted to be picked for the Games, adding he had based his racing and training so far this season around being picked for Paris.

“I am incredibly proud to be going to the Olympics. I have gone all in on coming along. Since December I have only been at home 14 days, and otherwise I have just run races and been to training camps,” he said.

“I chose to ride the Giro d’Italia and skip the Tour de France in order to be completely ready for the Olympics. That’s why I’m also really relieved to be selected. I look forward to helping Mads. I am an assistant rider on a daily basis and specialise in just that.

“I know I can make a difference to the team. We have a strong Danish team, and we must show that we are ready to fight for the medals in Paris. And then I look forward to the single start. I have worked with single starts for 10 years, and I know what it takes to ‘peak’ in that discipline.”

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