Pinot hopes for third week Tour de France return – VeloNews.com

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Some riders needed the Tour de France rest day more than others. Thibaut Pinot was among those who needed it the most.

Having seen his GC ambitions vanish in the Port of Balès on Saturday due to persistent back pain following a fall on the first stage of the race, the leader of Groupama-FDJ feels more radiant after a day on the sofa and a medical master key.

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« [The rest day] made me feel good ” Pinot told Le Parisien Tuesday. “It was my first time not riding a bike, although I’m still a little worried about my back. I finished Sunday’s stage as best I could, but it’s pretty persistent like an injury and I’m told I still need a few more days.

After losing 25 minutes on the high slopes of Les Bales on Saturday, Pinot rallied on Sunday to tackle the first big climb of the day in a short time, before setting off again 10 minutes behind stage winner Tadej Pogačar.

Stating that he was “in so much pain that he couldn’t pedal” over the weekend, Pinot breathed a sigh of relief on Monday that not only his COVID control came back clearly, but also the results of an MRI, which showed that his back was free from fractures.

With a day off and a series of sprint stages marking this week’s opening half at the Tour, Pinot is looking to take every pedal stroke as easily as possible to heal a bruised and inflamed sacrum in hopes of getting out. du Tour with a victory in the Alps.

“I have to try to force as little as possible this week to be fully healed by Sunday at the Grand Colombier,” said Pinot. “The goal is to get a step and, for that, my back must not be injured. If not for this week, I really hope that for the third week everything will be fine.

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