CHAMPAGNOLE, France (Reuters) – Whereas all Tour de France riders are hoping to benefit from the last parade on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday, Thibaut Pinot has ridden by means of the ache with one other objective in thoughts since a again harm ruined his dream of total victory in biking’s best race.
On Saturday, the decisive particular person time trial will undergo Melisey, Pinot’s hometown within the Franche Comte area, which comes roughly 9kms into the 36.2-km route.
Whereas his followers and household had been hoping to cheer their man on within the race chief’s yellow jersey, Pinot will as a substitute begin the day with no particular objective after falling out of rivalry within the race’s first stage within the Pyrenees.
The 30-year-old, who got here third total in 2014 and had been within the combine for the title final 12 months earlier than he pulled out with a thigh harm two days from the end, suffered a again harm in a crash close to the tip of the opening stage in Good.
Since then, he has been hanging on for expensive life.
“I did not come right here to complete thirty fifth or fortieth within the basic classification,” Pinot instructed reporters earlier than the beginning of Friday’s nineteenth stage.
“However I am proud that I am ending this Tour. I fought the again ache day-after-day, I fought with satisfaction.”
His Groupama-FDJ crew supervisor Marc Madiot stated Pinot couldn’t have pulled out and seen the Tour riders whizz previous his entrance garden on Saturday.
“Think about he had gone residence final week, he would have seen the Tour go in entrance of his residence. It might have been a scar he would have stored for all times,” stated Madiot.
“(On Saturday) he must be on a motorbike in entrance of his household. Pinot, he is hooked up to his roots, his home, his backyard, his animals,” the Frenchman added.
“As a rider it’s important to journey together with your coronary heart. When the Tour went by means of Renaze (Madiot’s hometown), I cried. Pinot has to go residence with the Tour,” Madiot added with tears in his eyes.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Enhancing by Hugh Lawson)