Thibaut Pinot forced to spend three weeks off the bike after Tour de France abandon

Pinot had been the biggest threat to Team Ineos but was forced to pull out on the final weekend

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Thibaut Pinot will spend three weeks off the bike after suffering an injury that dashed his Tour de France hopes.

The Groupama-FDJ rider had been best-placed to topple Team Ineos in the final weekend, having dragged himself back into the general classification fight.

But Frenchman Pinot suffered a tragic injury on stage 17 and was forced to pull out the following day, stepping off the bike in tears.

Groupama-FDJ have confirmed that Pinot suffered a tear in his quadricep and will be forced to rest.

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The team said: “Update on Thibaut Pinot: additional medical tests confirmed a medial vastus muscle injury combined with an inter-fascial bruise. He will resume training in 20 days.”

Pinot was fifth overall heading into the Alps, just 20 seconds behind race winner Egan Bernal (Team Ineos).

He suffered a crash on stage 17 to Gap, suffering a tear to his left thigh that hampered his performance on the following mountain stage.

The injury caused too much pain for him to continue and Pinot pulled out of the race 36km into stage 18, unsurprisingly devastated at having come so close.

After his abandon, he said: “I did all I could.

“I was convinced [that he could possibly win the Tour], but unfortunately now, I will never know.”

Pinot finished third overall in the 2014 Tour de France behind Vincenzo Nibali. He had consistently preformed and this year pulled it together for one of his best rides, winning a stage at the summit of the Tourmalet.

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Boss of rivals Team Ineos Sir Dave Brailsford said: “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.’

“And it was quite surprising to see him pull over. And I felt really sad, you couldn’t help but watch those images of without being really genuinely upset and sorry for him.”