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."
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.
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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