The Groupama-FDJ cycling team, in consultation with his rider, has decided that Thibaut Pinot will not participate in the Tour of Italy. Thibaut Pinot took part in the Tour of the Alps as a test prior to the Giro d’Italia but back pain still prevents him from fully expressing his potential on the bike. The conclusions of this test do not allow him to consider a participation in the Giro d’Italia which starts in two weeks. Thibaut Pinot will continue the treatment process he has been undergoing for the past eight months with the team’s medical team, and will do everything possible to regain full physical strength. No schedule for a return to competition has been set and no sporting objective has yet been defined.
“I can’t hide from myself: I’m not in the medical condition to shine in the Giro. I would unnecessarily suffer and I would not be able to help the team. It’s not even a question of shape, but the pain in my back prevents me from performing well. It’s hard to explain. At the beginning of a stage it works, I even managed to get into the breakaway on the last day of this Tour of the Alps. Unfortunately, the more the kilometers go by, the more the pain increases and at some point, I am too sore to force myself. Tuesday was a very bad day for me. It was mentally hard, I didn’t expect to be so far in the classifications. Giving up crossed my mind but I am a competitor, I wanted to go to the end of the test, I needed to, in order not to have any regrets. Every day I gave everything. Not racing in the Giro d’Italia is heartbreaking, we did everything to be there! We really did our utmost so that I could ride at my best. I’m disappointed but I’m focused on the next step. I am only thinking about healing myself, leaving these back problems behind me, competing at my usual level and fighting with the best.”
JACKY MAILLOT : Team Physician
“In the recent weeks, we have seen a gradual improvement in Thibaut’s training. We knew that the Tour of the Alps would give us some answers. Unfortunately, the conclusions are clear: his sacroiliac inflammation, following his crash in the last Tour de France, still prevents him from riding at very high intensity despite all the treatments he received. Further investigations with new specialists in this field are scheduled for next week.”
“We did everything we could so Thibaut Pinot could come back to his actual level. We are disappointed but we can’t regret, neither him nor us, that we wanted to believe. He fought until the end on this Tour of the Alps but his body will not allow him to compete with the best for three weeks. Thibaut is going through something, we will of course give him the necessary time to come back. We will continue to accompany him in his convalescence, he has the confidence and support of the entire Groupama-FDJ cycling team.”