Having taken a five-month break in January, Tom Dumoulin cannot wait to get back into cycling action for the Netherlands as he lines up as one of the favourites in Tokyo.
Dumoulin took an indefinite break from cycling at the start of 2021 to understand his motivations for the sport, but the three-time Tour de France stage winner returned in June and will represent his country at the Games.
Usually a time-trial specialist, Dumoulin will compete in the combined road race and time trial as he looks to become only the second cyclist to win both events at a single Games.
The only cyclist to achieve this feat before is Dumoulin's compatriot Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel, who won both events at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000.
"I'm glad to be back. I had a couple of good weeks in June and the condition improved gradually. The most important thing is that I had fun on the bike again, and I took pleasure in working towards a goal again," the 2017 Giro d'Italia general classification winner said.
"I really want to go for it in the road race. It's a super-beautiful course and the heat normally suits me. I mainly prepared for the time trial, because that's my main goal, but that full gas on Saturday does not have to affect my [performance in the] time trial on Wednesday."
The Netherlands and Italy have won a joint-record nine cycling gold medals at the Games and Dumoulin believes he and his team-mates have another good chance of success on Saturday.
"We have Bauke Mollema as target man and that's logic. We have got a strong team, but not really a team to control the race.
"Dylan Van Baarle, Wilco Kelderman and me, we have free roles and the three of us hope to go a long way, but we will support Bauke wherever necessary.
"Yoeri Havik who combines the road race with track cycling [at Tokyo 2020], joins us to support the team in the first 100 kilometres."