Vuelta a España: Pinot says he wasn’t at his best despite fourth place on stage eight
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Sunday, September 01, 2013

Vuelta a España: Pinot says he wasn’t at his best despite fourth place on stage eight

by VeloNation Press at 8:12 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Mixed feelings for talented French rider

Thibaut PinotEven though Tibaut Pinot finished a fine fourth place on yesterday’s mountain finish of the Vuelta a España, the Frenchman admitted to having mixed feelings about the result.

While his final position was a good one, and saw him finish just behind the new race leader Nicolas Roche (Saxo Tinkoff), five seconds off the stage winner Leopold Konig (NetApp Endura), the FDJ rider said that he was a little concerned about his sensations.

“I wasn’t at my best today. From the bottom of the climb, I struggled to get myself in the rhythm of the race,” he said after the finish. “I’ve needed half of the ascent until I made it back up.

“It was a hard climb. I’ve realized that the strong men are [Ivan] Basso and [Chris] Horner. They have split the front group into pieces. Considering how I felt today, I’m happy to finish fourth.”

Pinot showed his talent last year when he took a superb solo stage win during his Tour de France debut. The-then 22 year old also became the youngest rider to finish in the top ten of the race since 1947.

This year’s Tour was disappointing, though, with a fear of descending holding him back and then a bad throat infection putting him out of the race.

He said before the Vuelta that he was keen to show what he could do. “I’m impatient,” he stated. “I’m hungry racing. I’m looking forward to experience the atmosphere of the peloton again. I’ve trained a lot but nothing replaces competition.”

Pinot heads into today’s stage thirteenth overall, one minute 37 seconds back. He’s in a good position heading towards the higher climbs, although it is uncertain what he expects.

“The first week has been demanding. But the mountains come and that will be more tranquil,” he said, presumably referring to the chaos of a large peloton fighting for results.

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