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Marc Madiot: 'One in million chance' Thibaut Pinot will ride the Tour de France

Tour de France 2020 107th Edition 1st stage Nice Nice 156 km 29082020 Thibaut Pinot FRA Groupama FDJ photo POOL Vincent KalutPNBettiniPhoto2020
Thibaut Pinot of Groupama-FDJ crashed on stage 1 in Nice at 2020 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Groupama-FDJ team manager Marc Madiot has admitted there is “a one in a million chance” that Thibaut Pinot will be at the start of the Tour de France due to the Frenchman’s ongoing back problems. 

Pinot injured his back in a crash during the opening stage of the 2020 Tour de France last October. He rode on in pain and finished the Grand Boucle but climbed off the Vuelta a España after two stages. He rode a number of early-season races including the recent Tour of the Alps, but emotionally scrapped plans to ride the Giro d’Italia due to back pain.   

"I would unnecessarily suffer and I would not be able to help the team. It's not even a question of shape, but the pain in my back prevents me from performing well,” Pinot said after the Tour of the Alps. 

“I’m only thinking about healing myself, leaving these back problems behind me, competing at my usual level and fighting with the best. "

The Tour de France starts on Saturday, June 26, just over six weeks away, forcing Madiot to play down any expectations of Pinot recovering in time for the Tour de France. 

Groupama-FDJ are expected to have sprinter Arnaud Démare and young climber David Gaudu as team leaders. 

“There is a one in a million chance he will be at the start of the Tour,” Madiot told Eurosport.fr

“The most important thing is that he fully recovers. We are not going to put pressure on him, that would be a mistake.”