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Peter Sagan to race mountain bike, not road cycling at Rio Olympics

Peter Sagan

SANTA ROSA, CA - MAY 21: Peter Sagan of Slovakia riding for Tinkoff takes the podium as he is awarded the most aggressive rider jersey in stage seven of the 2016 Amgen Tour of California on May 21, 2016 in Santa Rosa, California. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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Reigning World champion Peter Sagan will not contest the Olympic road race. Instead, the star cyclist will compete in mountain biking at the Rio Games.

The Slovakian Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that Sagan and mountain biker Martin Haring swapped events for the Rio Games.

Last month, the Slovakian cycling federation requested a second Olympic mountain bike quota spot specifically for Sagan, in addition to the one it earned through results from its regular mountain bikers.

Slovakia still has one mountain bike spot, and it now belongs to Sagan, who has said the Olympic road race course is not to his liking.

Sagan won the World junior title in mountain biking at age 18 in 2008 before focusing primarily on road racing. He did compete in two mountain bike events earlier this year.

Sagan has entered four Tours de France and won the green jersey in all of them as the top sprinter, amassing four individual stage wins along the way. He also owns four Vuelta a España stage wins.

He was 34th in his Olympic debut at the London 2012 road race.

Slovakia owns zero Olympic cycling medals since splitting from the Czech Republic starting with Atlanta 1996.

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