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Teams & Riders Thibaut Pinot discussion thread

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Re: Re:

Alexandre B. said:
Robert5091 said:
movingtarget said:
Zinoviev Letter said:
movingtarget said:
Big win for Pinot. He really turned his season around after his Giro disappointment. He has looked great over the past few months.

Earlier in his career I think people may justifiably have seen his mentality as a weakness. In retrospect, there is a real mental strength in being able to come back from disaster stronger, and he has done so repeatedly.

Be interesting to see the racing schedule Pinot opts for next year after his success this season.

I expect Pinot is under a lot of pressure to ride TdF.
He already made his mind before this Holy Week: he will commit to the Tour de France in 2019.

Sounds like he will do the Tour and maybe stage hunt again in the Vuelta although I still think Giro/Vuelta is best for him. Last two Giros he was in position to make the podium but couldn't get there for various reasons. Namely TT and illness, his two biggest issues in his grand tour career.
 
Is he certain to do the Tour next year? It seems to me with no Dumoulin or Froome at the Giro, his strongest opponent there, if he were to go, would be whichever Yates brother shows up. Or maybe Nibali, to whom he’s just shown a clear back tire. Depending on the parcours, it could be his best ever chance to actually win a GT, and bridge a gap all the way back to Fignon.

Also as others have said, I’d love to see him try the Ardennes.
 
THIBAUT PINOT - 2018 RECAP

The dust is slowly settling after the fantastic ending of Thibaut Pinot's '18 campaign. And as I did last year, I'm offering a breakdown and some thoughts following what was undeniably a roller-coaster ride.

The program was different than in previous years, and Thibaut started his season three weeks later than usual. So while his fellow pros were mixing it up early in the season, on February 11, a relaxed Pinot was testing his body in the heart of his native Franche-Comté. He did so by participating in the Transjurassienne and posing for pictures with his many fans.

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As part of the La Sapaudia team (an organization helping the fight against leukemia), our People's Champion raised some eyebrows by cracking the top-50 of this world-class cross-country skiing competition (2,200 participants).

One week later, Thibaut was riding the Tour du Haut-Var as a training block, finishing 13th and 6th on the two stages and finishing 5th in the GC standings at 3" of the winner.

One month later, on March 19th, Thibaut came to Catalunya with no big ambitions but to get some race days in a one-week competition. With a 3rd place in Camprodon, a 5th place in La Molina, and a 10th place in the GC standings, everything seemed to go according to plans: the first real objective was three weeks away.

Italy: the cape was on as the super-hero lined-up on April 16 at the Tour of Whatever, also known as Alps, for me it will always be Trentino. And the name of the story was "The Revenge of Tibopino". Having narrowly lost to a (too fast) Geraint in '17, it was time for a showdown on the Italian/Austrian border. Nice 4-2-2-4-6 grouping for Tibopino, who won the GC ahead of Pozzo, MAL, and the Dawg.

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We all know what happened. A great Giro, a great fight, Il Tibopino earned the podium that eluded him the year before with a very strong showing on stage 19...well, almost...

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...and then.

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It's sports, no one died, so the parallel to 9/11 is a massive exaggeration on my part. But in many ways, it felt that way. I was watching my TV in total disbelief. That brave kid's dreams were being shattered, he could barely stay on his bike, he was agonizing, but he kept on going, he refused to give up.

It's one thing to be a fan: I can't imagine what Thibaut Pinot went through on that day, and in the days that followed. Many think, and it may be romanticizing, that this huge setback gave Thibaut a new prospective on cycling, which paid big time in the end of the season.

In any case, no TdF for Thibaut, and we found him back in better form than expected at the Tour of Poland in early August. On a route that was not tailor-made for a rider with his skill-set, the GC podium was encouraging ahead of his return to La Vuelta.

Much to my dismay (I must confess), El Tibo lined up on August 26 at the start of La Vuelta with two objectives: win a stage, and put the Giro memories behind him. Basically, have fun and finish fresh. He lost time on stage 6, so at no time was there the temptation to switch objectives and go for the GC. And fun he had.

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The win at the Lagos de Covadonga put El Tibo in the elite circle of stage winners in all three Grand Tours. And a few days later, again from the front group, he did it again. Fun he had.

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The RRWC showed another positive showing for Thibaut...not his performance on the bike (he was strong), not his top-10, but how he put his own ambitions aside for the good of his National Team. That's the kind of things that didn't go un-noticed in Thibaut's own GFC team. True leaders can be followers.

The best was yet to come with his best Italian fall classics campaign. 5th in Emillia, 54th at the GP Beghelli, 2nd at the Tre Valli, and as I was lamenting that Tibopino was second again, my stated optimism was rewarded: Milano-Torino...

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Thibaut Pinot's first one-day race win. Even The Don was having fun.

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And the best was yet to come. The best Tibopino ever had to be in Italy, on the greatest stage, against a great field, battling with the greatest Italian rider of his generation, Vincenzo Nibali. The two know each other well, since the '14 TdF, they have shared many podiums together, Il Squalo has always been an inspiration for Tibopino. The scenario couldn't have been better. Il Muro di Sormano for the decisive move, it doesn't get much better than that.

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Tibopino had never shown so much aggression, never dominated a race of this caliber, he was a beast, demonstrated that when his head is in the right place he can out-descend the best descenders or at least be just as good. What a win.

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And the respect. That picture below is priceless.

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Best PCS point total for a year with 1757, 69 race days, 5 wins (all of them big), 34 top-10s.

Last year, I wrote my recap the day after Lombardia and concluded by stating:

"[...] in '17 Thibaut became more explosive at the expense of his ITT skills. Fine tuning is required. Tibopino is reaching his prime. He's not intimidated anymore. Descending? Correct me if I'm wrong but he kept the gap to the other guys even when Nibali took off. Like in '15 BTW. [...] he's one of the best riders in the World. He's mean. He's hungry. If it's true that good things happen to good people, I'm looking forward to next year's recap."

So here we are a year later and there are still question-marks, outstanding items on last year's list. And the same old question: can Thibaut Pinot win a GT? I hope so. And when I see all the happiness on this forum following yesterday's race, fans are earned: as long as he races like he has done in '18, with heart, bringing honor to his sport, he'll find more and more cycling fans in his corner. And that maybe his biggest win in '18.

Vai Tibopino!
 
What a great way to end the season for Monsieur Pinot -- his greatest showing in a major classics race and a deserving conclusion to this most challenging season. How he finished his last stage at the Giro is beyond me, considering his body was torn with pneumonia. No one should doubt his courage. I can see him winning a grand tour if he is able to come into it at top form and if he has no crashes or illness -- not saying he will, but that he has a shot (with some good fortune); certainly a podium is within reach, as he has already proved.
 
Re:

Leinster said:
Is he certain to do the Tour next year? It seems to me with no Dumoulin or Froome at the Giro, his strongest opponent there, if he were to go, would be whichever Yates brother shows up. Or maybe Nibali, to whom he’s just shown a clear back tire. Depending on the parcours, it could be his best ever chance to actually win a GT, and bridgYe a gap all the way back to Fignon.

Also as others have said, I’d love to see him try the Ardennes.
Yeah, returning to the Tour could be a big mistake for him, this fall was possible only thanks to the blessing in disguise of being forced to miss the Tour. But until he stays with Madiot I think is impossible for him to exclude the Tour from his schedule and he'll always have a lot of pressure in France.
 
Re:

yaco said:
Expect Pinot to ride the TDF in 2019 - Whether that is stage hunting or GC is yet to be decided - Also gives Demare a chance to go back to the Giro.

Demare has stage wins in his last 2 Tours and would be a decent shot at the green jersey, versus his 2 DNFs at the Giro. Pinot historically performs better in Italy and would have a better shot at the Giro GC, than no chance at the Tour. If Pinot wasn’t French, there’d be no question of sending him to Le Tour.
 
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
yaco said:
Expect Pinot to ride the TDF in 2019 - Whether that is stage hunting or GC is yet to be decided - Also gives Demare a chance to go back to the Giro.

Demare has stage wins in his last 2 Tours and would be a decent shot at the green jersey, versus his 2 DNFs at the Giro. Pinot historically performs better in Italy and would have a better shot at the Giro GC, than no chance at the Tour. If Pinot wasn’t French, there’d be no question of sending him to Le Tour.

Traditionally FDJ has split their two marquee riders between the Giro and the TDF - This is something AGR2 should do if they ever consider finding a top class sprinter.
 
Re: Re:

yaco said:
Leinster said:
yaco said:
Expect Pinot to ride the TDF in 2019 - Whether that is stage hunting or GC is yet to be decided - Also gives Demare a chance to go back to the Giro.

Demare has stage wins in his last 2 Tours and would be a decent shot at the green jersey, versus his 2 DNFs at the Giro. Pinot historically performs better in Italy and would have a better shot at the Giro GC, than no chance at the Tour. If Pinot wasn’t French, there’d be no question of sending him to Le Tour.

Traditionally FDJ has split their two marquee riders between the Giro and the TDF - This is something AGR2 should do if they ever consider finding a top class sprinter.
I’m sure Lavenu will get back to you on that one...
 
Re: Re:

Leinster said:
dastott said:
Not sure he can win a GT but we have had Thomas and S. Yates win this year so why not? Which one suits him best do you think? I'm inclined to think Vuelta, Giro and Tour, in that order.

Giro, no question. Unless the Tour route spends like 3 days in Italy somehow.

Giro and Vuelta double would be cool programme but it's unlikely he'll be able to skip the Tour. It's a shame because he might be able to win either the Giro (has come quite close, loves Italy but will ship time in the Giro's longer TTs) or the Vuelta (goes well on steep climbs, has good form in the 2nd half of season).
 
This win resounded big in France, judging by the articles, the comments, front page plus five pages in l'Equipe. Beyond reasonable, but considering how the French cycling fans have been starved, understandable.

There's no escaping Le Tour at this point, and ASO has already planted the PDBF seed. Last time, clueless as their designers are, they forgot the real lead out by Chevreres...let's see the route.

There's a way to make it an every other year plan. '20 Giro-Vuelta-RRWC would be great after a '19 TdF commitment. And in this case, I hope we see a AGR, FW, LBL block this coming spring. Saturday's Thibaut would be one of the LBL favorites IMO.
 
I'm not sure if I'm committed on him going to the Tour for GC as I don't think he can place higher than top 5 if everything goes right for him and nothing happens to the stronger riders.

If he can find a second peak he could repeat his last months this year into next year with hopefully the same results if he does the Tour.

I just feel there will be to much pressure on him, especially if Bardet performs underpar.
 
Tonton said:
This win resounded big in France, judging by the articles, the comments, front page plus five pages in l'Equipe. Beyond reasonable, but considering how the French cycling fans have been starved, understandable.

There's no escaping Le Tour at this point, and ASO has already planted the PDBF seed. Last time, clueless as their designers are, they forgot the real lead out by Chevreres...let's see the route.

There's a way to make it an every other year plan. '20 Giro-Vuelta-RRWC would be great after a '19 TdF commitment. And in this case, I hope we see a AGR, FW, LBL block this coming spring. Saturday's Thibaut would be one of the LBL favorites IMO.
That's very bad for him, his problem with the Tour has always been the high pressure on him in his home race that has lead to the failures after his surprise podium in 2014, if French medias are adding another extra weight of pressure on him ahead of next year Tour is the perfect recipe for another failure.
 
Nirvana said:
Tonton said:
This win resounded big in France, judging by the articles, the comments, front page plus five pages in l'Equipe. Beyond reasonable, but considering how the French cycling fans have been starved, understandable.

There's no escaping Le Tour at this point, and ASO has already planted the PDBF seed. Last time, clueless as their designers are, they forgot the real lead out by Chevreres...let's see the route.

There's a way to make it an every other year plan. '20 Giro-Vuelta-RRWC would be great after a '19 TdF commitment. And in this case, I hope we see a AGR, FW, LBL block this coming spring. Saturday's Thibaut would be one of the LBL favorites IMO.
That's very bad for him, his problem with the Tour has always been the high pressure on him in his home race that has lead to the failures after his surprise podium in 2014, if French medias are adding another extra weight of pressure on him ahead of next year Tour is the perfect recipe for another failure.
I don't think that's too bad.

At this point, we wish him to enjoy a successful Tour, not winning the damn thing.