Brussels - Belgian cycling star Tom Boonen announced on Tuesday that he will forego this year's Tour de France so as to be fresh for a tilt at the Olympic road race title.
The 31-year-old former world champion has just returned to competition after taking a break following a superb spring classics campaign that saw him win a record-equalling third Tour of Flanders and a record-equalling fourth Paris-Roubaix.
However, Boonen told Flemish language newspaper Het Nieuwsblad's website that he felt competing in this year's Tour de France, in which he won the green jersey in 2007 and has won six stages, would impinge on his chances of Olympic gold in London.
"The decision has been taken," said Boonen, who is presently competing in the Tour of California.
"I have a great chance in the Olympic race, but I must remain fresh for it. I will without doubt race in the Tour of Poland instead, so as to prepare for the Olympics."
The Tour of Poland runs from July 10 to 16, while the Tour de France finishes on July 22. The Olympic road race is on July 28.