Thibaut Pinot is desperate to get back to racing as he readies himself for a series of French races that should ease him back into the swing of things during a season during which the Frenchman has been mostly absent.
Groupama-FDJ boss Marc Madiot says Pinot's morale is high and he is training well as his rider prepares for his first race in four months at the Tour du Limousin, part of his continued rehabilitation from back problems that have dogged his past year.
"How is Pinot? Things are going very well, morale is high, training is going pretty well and he just wants to race," Madiot told Cyclism'Actu. "This is the reason why he follows the Tour Poitou-Charentes after Limousin, even if it is not really his favourite terrain. But he wants to ride so he will do a series of races."
Madiot has admitted he should have removed 31-year-old from racing sooner than he did after his painful crash on stage one of the 2020 Tour de France, Pinot perservering through to Paris before lining up for the Vuelta a España for a few days, but now the Frenchman is now keen to race again as he aims towards another comeback in 2022.
"Let him get back on the road, get a taste for racing again, but I have no doubts about that. I have no doubts either that he obtains interesting results in the next few weeks," Madiot said, confidently.
While Pinot will not race the 2021 Vuelta, the first time in 10 seasons he hasn't ridden a Grand Tour, his favoured Il Lombardia, which he won in 2018, will also come too soon.
"For the moment we are not there. We think first of the recovery, and then it will always be to set results, objectives to be obtained in the more or less long term," Madiot explained. "But for now we are at the start of the school year."
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