Tour de France: Pinot out with bronchitis

Frenchman spent three days in polka dot jersey

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has abandoned the Tour de France with bronchitis. The 26-year old finished over 28 minutes down on Thursday's Mont Ventoux stage and was 34th overall. He had worn the polka-dot mountain jersey for three stages before losing it on stage 12.

Pinot first made his mark at the Tour in his debut, at the age of 22. In 2012 he won a stage and finished 10th overall. He made his major move in 2014, when he finished third overall and won the best young rider's jersey.

This year he won the overall title in the Criterium International, including two stages, as well as the French national time trial title. However he lost time on several stages in the opening week and crumbled on the first stage in the Pyrenees.

He bounced back on the road to Andorra and was in the winning break but missed out with Tom Dumoulin taking the stage. He came into the race as FDJ's only leader. 

"With all of the difficulties he's had these past few days, it was becoming difficult for him. He's undergoing tests now. We came to this decision even though we felt it was preferable to stay in the race. He already had the first symptoms of bronchitis at Arcalis in the hailstones and going to the podium ceremony for the polka dot jersey didn't help. Then there was the accumulation of problems on the last stages. It became complicated. When you abandon the Tour, your morale is never very good," Pinot's team manager, Marc Madiot Madiot told L'Équipe.

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