Thibaut Pinot says the route of the 2021 Tour de France “is really classic,” as the course features plenty of opportunities for the puncheurs.
The Groupama-FDJ rider has been unlucky in the Tour in recent years, suffering repeated injuries that have spoiled his general classification ambitions.
But Pinot says the route is a more classic edition, with more chances for the sprinters and punchy riders, while he says stage nine to Tignes is “beautiful.”
In an interview with French newspaper L’est Républican, Pinot said: “It’s a Tour route that is different from recent years. Less for climbers and more for complete runners , especially with two big time trials.
“It’s a course which is really classic, I find, as we had not had for several years, with a lot of sprints, stages for punchers especially.”
After being forced to abandon last year’s Tour due to a muscle tear in the final week, Pinot’s 2020 Tour got off to a disappointing start when he crashed in the opening stage and never fully recovered.
The Frenchman then started the Vuelta a España but abandoned after two stages.
But will Pinot be tempted back again after seeing the 2021 course?
He added: “There will be quite a few mountains in the first part and the Pyrenees which are quite tough. A beautiful stage in Tignes which is, for me, the most pleasant stage.”
Next year’s Tour starts in Brittany on June 26, then heads down the centre of France and hits the Alps at the end of the first week.
The race will then transition towards the Pyrenees through the south, stopping off at the legendary Mont Ventoux along the way, where riders will take on two sides of the mountain before a downhill finish.
Finally the Tour riders will take on a second time trial on the penultimate day before the processional sprint stage in Paris.