The many supporters of Thibaut Pinot will not have to content themselves with watching their idol on Netflix. Their favorite rider will compete in a final Tour de France since he was selected for the Groupama-FDJ team, which announced it on Tuesday. Sprinter Arnaud Démare was not selected for the Grande Boucle by sports director Marc Madiot.
“He finished the Giro like a cannonball. He applied for the Tour. And his physical evaluation tests, which he passed on his return to France, were conclusive.justified Madiot in an interview with Parisian. In this situation, when you have a runner like Pinot, you take him. »
The 1is July, the Tour will set off from Bilbao for three intense weeks. It will be the tenth time that the 33-year-old Franc-Comtois will take part in the biggest cycling race in the world. His best result remains third place, in 2014. In 2019, his dramatic retirement three days from the end of the event, when he seemed able to win, had contributed to his incredible love rating with public.
Pinot will not start in a leading position, a place that remains reserved for David Gaudu. But on the strength of his experience and his ability to win stages (three, including the last in 2019), the Vosges runner will have a role of free spirit and not of teammate for his 26-year-old younger brother. “We changed the situation on the Tour and run with three pawns: David in number one but also Thibaut and Valentin [Madouas]explains Marc Madiot. We will put ourselves in a situation where we will try to be competitive everywhere. »
Confident, the sporting director, who assures that he has not been under any pressure from sponsors or the media, announces that he is aiming for the podium with the Parisian : “With David or one of the other two, Pinot or Madouas. We will try to make full use of this trio. » A triplet which will have a hard time facing the big favorites of the event, in particular the Dane Jonas Vingegaard and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, winners between them of the last three editions.