Versatile Tylor Knibb pulls out of Paris 2024 road cycling race. GETTY IMAGES

The two-time triathlon world champion and professional cyclist will not take part in the road race on 4 August. Instead, she will concentrate on her speciality, the triathlon, which takes place on 31 July. She has not ruled out competing in the time trial on 27 July. Knibb has been replaced on the USA cycling team by Faulkner.

Taylor Knibb is an unusual case. Her remarkable abilities allow her to perform at a very high level in disciplines that may seem similar. But in fact, each requires its own specialisation. Knibb is one of the best in both triathlon and cycling.

The American has qualified for the Olympic Games in both disciplines. She has decided to withdraw from the road race scheduled for 4 August. Her place in the USA team will be taken by Faulkner, who has already been selected for the pursuit in the velodrome.

Taylor Knibb is a versatile athlete. She is a two-time world champion in the Ironman 70.3 distance triathlon, and it is in the triathlon that she has focused her efforts to arrive in Paris 2024 with the chance of a medal. The event is scheduled for 31 July, barring any setbacks. 

Taylor Knibb is a double Ironman 70.3 world champion. GETTY IMAGES
Taylor Knibb is a double Ironman 70.3 world champion. GETTY IMAGES

The authorities are continuing to test the quality of the water in the Seine and it is not entirely safe. The events could even be postponed to other dates, which would be a serious problem for all the athletes, especially Knibb, who has a packed schedule.

Paris will be Knibb's second Olympic Games. She won the USA time trial championship earlier this year. This earned her an automatic place in the time trial and road race, even though she is a triathlete. The dangers of cycling, particularly the risks of riding in a peloton, made her reconsider entering the road race, where she would be competing against much more experienced cyclists. 

Knibb assessed the situation with her coaches and decided to retire and concentrate on triathlon. Knibb follows in the footsteps of Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, an Olympic triathlon champion. She is capable of winning in any race format.

Knibb is a triathlete and professional cyclist. GETTY IMAGES
Knibb is a triathlete and professional cyclist. GETTY IMAGES

Taylor Knibb has been a professional cyclist since last season, when she signed a contract with Trek-Segafredo. In 2023, she won the Ironman 70.3 World Championship for the second year in a row. She finished 4th in the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii and also won the PTO US Open and Boulder 70.3.

The Ironman 70.3 distances are 1.8km swim, 90km bike and 21km run. The Olympic distances are slightly shorter and are contested under different rules. In the Olympics, drafting (riding in the slipstream of another cyclist) is allowed in the cycling portion, but not in Ironman competitions. 

She was the top American at the Olympic test event in Paris, thus qualifying for the Games. In 2024, where she has been unrivalled in the triathlon and has also surprised on the bike, Knibb's progress has been even greater. Four days after winning a triathlon event, she raced and won the USA Time Trial Cycling Championship. Knibb rode the 33km at an average speed of 48.24km/h.