Thibaut Pinot back on bike following heartbreaking Tour de France exit

The Frenchman is riding again after being forced out of the Tour through injury

Thibaut Pinot is back on his bike after his heartbreaking Tour de France exit, where he climbed off in tears on stage 19 as looked to be closing in on the GC.

The Frenchman tore his quadricep on stage 17, battling through the pain but eventually giving up 40km into the penultimate mountain stage, which was halted mid-race due to a freak hailstorm and landslide.

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After spending three weeks off the bike to recover, Pinot has now resumed his training and has posted data of his first two rides back on Strava, to the delight of fans. He set out on both rides from his hometown of Mélisey, completing around 60km each time in two hours.

Pinot’s first ride was just under 59km, taking him less than two hours with an average speed of 30km/h.

It was a fairly flat ride, with only 531m of elevation, with Pinot hitting a top speed of 58km/h. He rode three loops, which were punctuated with three uphill sections.

His second ride two days later was over a similar distance, again taking around two hours to complete and heading out in an opposite direction from his home.

However, this time Pinot doubled his elevation to over 1,000 metres. Again he completed two loops as he took two second places on downhill segments, approaching speeds of 60km/h. The main climbing in this ride was a longer, flatter effort, as the Frenchman looks to find his form.

Pinot will now have to wait more than nine months for another crack at his home Grand Tour, which he believed he could have won this year. Sitting 20 seconds behind Egan Bernal (Ineos), the Frenchman went on the attack to claw back time after losing minutes in crosswinds earlier in the race.

“I was convinced [I could possibly win the Tour],” the 29-year-old said after abandoning, “but unfortunately now, I will never know.”

Team Ineos boss Sir Dave Brailsford said at the time: “He’s been a great contributor to the race and French cycling. You know, I admire, I really like Thibaut Pinot, I always have.

“And like everybody else, I thought for a moment there. We all thought, ‘He’s got a great opportunity of becoming the overall winner.'”

Pinot has vowed to return to the Tour de France 2020, where he will likely face stiff competition from defending champion Egan Bernal as well as the likes of Chris Froome (Ineos) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) returning from injury.

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