Following a disappointing Olympic race in London, Julien Absalon decided to extend his final season with Orbea through the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships in Saalfelden, Austria, in mid-September.
The French mountain biker pulled out of the Olympic race in London after a flat tire and was not able to defend his two previous Olympic titles from 2004 and 2008.
In recent years, Absalon has tended to skip certain big races to target others. For example, he sat out the North American World Cups this season to prepare for the Olympic Games. After meeting with coach Gérard Brocks, Absalon decided to contend the Worlds.
"He has taken up the challenge," said Brocks to velovert.com. "I told him after the Olympic race that it was worth it after all the sacrifices of the past few months. In addition, this winter will be long and he must not delay starting again on new projects."
This 2012-2013 off-season will be extra long with the first World Cup starting one month later than usual in May compared with this season, when the World Cup kicked off one month early in March. He will race in 2013 for BMC.
Absalon took a week to decompress after the Olympics and is expected to resume training for Worlds on a yet to be defined program.