Pinot fired up to recover from Tour disappointment with strong Vuelta a España ride
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Pinot fired up to recover from Tour disappointment with strong Vuelta a España ride

by VeloNation Press at 4:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Talented Frenchman wants a stage win, will play GC by ear

Thibaut PinotOne year after winning a stage and finishing in the top ten in what was his debut Tour de France, Thibaut Pinot has said that he’s fully motivated to perform in the Vuelta a España. Pinot had a disappointing second Tour, pulling out with a bad throat infection while also apparently suffering a fear of descending, and wants to get things back on track in the Spanish Tour.

“I’m impatient,” the 23 year old said as the race approached. “I’m hungry racing. I’m looking forward to experience the atmosphere of the peloton again. I’ve trained a lot but nothing replaces the competition.”

In addition to his superb solo stage win, Pinot underlined his ability in last year’s Tour when he became the youngest rider to finish in the top ten of the race since 1947. It’s a staggering statistic, and one which shows what he could do in the sport if he’s at one hundred percent.

Initially scheduled to ride the Vuelta a España last year but instead getting to do the Tour, he’s looking forward to now checking out the Spanish race. “This year, I was going to ride the Vuelta anyway,” he said, noting that it would have been on his schedule even if he had finished the Tour.

“Initially, it was with the aim of gearing up for the world championship that I absolutely want to take part in this time around. My abandon at the Tour de France has modified the situation. At the Vuelta, I want to be happy racing again, but I’m also looking at fighting with the best climbers on a terrain that suits me very well.”

The race features no less than eleven summit finishes, something which could play to his favour. After finishing fourth in the Tour de Suisse, sixth in the Tour de l’Ain [his comeback race after withdrawing ill from the Tour] and also eighth in the Volta a Catalunya, he’s ready to see what he can do in the Spanish event.

However he doesn’t want to put pressure on himself for the overall, feeling that his throat infection during the Tour and the need to recover afterwards has compromised his preparation.

“That’s why I’m not going to the Vuelta with too high ambitions. I’d be happy with a stage win, or at least, with being among the best climbers in the hard stages. We’ll draw the first conclusions after the first week of racing. The only thing I’m sure of: I don’t want to live with my disillusion of the Tour de France any longer.”

He said that his first priority is that he and his team limit the losses in tomorrow’s opening team time trial. After that, he will start to fight in the uphill finishes. “I know that I’ll enjoy this race a lot if I’m in good form,” he said. “That’s what I need. The Vuelta is certainly not a second-tier race! The level of climbers lining up is impressive.”


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