Thibaut Pinot missed his FDJ.fr team’s first pre-Vuelta training ride on Thursday as the result of a slight fever and fatigue. Pinot, who has not raced since finishing third in the Tour de France last month, spent the day in bed, from where he posted a tweet saying: “First day on the Vuelta, in bed all day. This isn’t a good start…”
FDJ DS Franck Pineau played down his team leader’s absence from the training ride, telling L’Équipe, “This is nothing to get alarmed about. Thibaut preferred not to go out for a ride because he had a slight fever the evening before and chose to stay in his room to recuperate fully.”
Pineau added: “It’s just a passing moment of fatigue and I think that everything will be in order very quickly.” Pinot was expected to take part in FDJ’s training session on Friday and attend the Vuelta’s team presentation that same evening.
FDJ team boss Marc Madiot has attempted to reduce the pressure on Pinot, who also finished the Tour as best young rider. Earlier this week Madiot stated: “Thibaut wants to ride [the Vuelta] in a relaxed state of mind and to enjoy it. It will be a bonus if he’s well placed at the finish…”
The Frenchman has said he is going into the Vuelta with his focus on winning a stage rather than targeting the GC. After his podium finish at the Tour, Pinot fulfilled a number of criterium commitments, then completed more than 25 hours of training in the Vosges last week in order to prepare himself for the Vuelta.