Voeckler: We can't ask riders to choose between Tour de France and Olympics

ROUBAIX, FRANCE - JULY 15: Start / Thomas Voeckler of France / ex-cyclist / during the 105th Tour de France 2018, Stage 9 a 156,5 stage from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix on July 15, 2018 in Roubaix, France. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

When the IOC announced the 2021 event schedule for the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games on Friday, the elite men's road race was still set for July 24 - one day before the end of the Tour de France. The date puts the world's best climbers in an impossible situation: focus on cycling's biggest race and the big moneymaker for their trade team sponsors or target gold for their nation on the mountainous Tokyo circuit. French national coach Thomas Voeckler says the conflict is 'extremely problematic' for the elite men.

"Honestly, it's a more than complicated situation," Voeckler told RMC Sport. The Frenchman retired from pro cycling in 2017 and in 2019 took over as national team manager from Cyrille Guimard.

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