Thibaut Pinot says he set his fastest ever Strava time on Ballon d'Alsace as he trained for comeback

The former Tour de France podium sitter has had a break from racing with injury

Thibaut Pinot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Thibaut Pinot looks to be heading back into racing on good form after setting some rapid times on his recent training rides posted to Strava.

Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) took a break from racing after the Tour of the Alps, where he went in a couple of breaks and took fifth overall in the mountain standings. He has been struggling with back issues but also struggling mentally to go for races.

Speaking in a piece by L'Equipe, Pinot said: "I’m eager to pin a race number on again,

"The legs are pretty good, I think. Based on the quality of my training and the numbers I’m producing, I feel that things are going well."

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Pinot recently went out on a training ride that included the climb of the Ballon d'Alsace Short segment where he set the joint fastest time on the 6.7km climb that averaged out at 5.8 per cent gradient and a maximum of 10 per cent.

Thibaut Pinot's ride posted the Strava

(Image credit: Strava)

Unfortunately, Pinot did not post his power on his ride but he still set a time up the climb of 16-42, averaging 24.3kph over the variations of gradients.

The ride was done on the morning of Wednesday, August 11 over 187.78km and took the Frenchman 6-01-42 to finish, with 3,419 metres of elevation done over the ride as he continued his big build-up back to racing again.

He also managed a few other top-10 results on various other segments on his ride showing he was keeping a strong pace throughout the day.

Pinot has started his next block of smaller French races, so he can focus on getting back to racing without the pressure, starting with the hilly Tour de Limousin.

This is usually a very tough and well fought race, making it an ideal starting point for the French star. 

"I’ve missed fighting for victory, and knowing why you train so hard," he said. 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.