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Pinot finishes the Tour de France with a show of pride

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Thibaut Pinot wins stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France

Thibaut Pinot wins stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France
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Thibaut Pinot in action during stage 20

Thibaut Pinot in action during stage 20
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Thibaut Pinot rides through the crowds on Alpe d'Huez

Thibaut Pinot rides through the crowds on Alpe d'Huez
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Thibaut Pinot rides through the crowds on Alpe d'Huez

Thibaut Pinot rides through the crowds on Alpe d'Huez
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Thibaur Pinot wins stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France.

Thibaur Pinot wins stage 20 of the 2015 Tour de France. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Thibaut Pinot put the pain and frustration of three tough weeks at the Tour de France behind him to win atop l’Alpe d’Huez with a final gutsy ride.

The aggressive FDJ rider has suffered punctures, crashes, illness and felt the weight of French expectations on his shoulders during every stage of the race after finishing third overall last year. He endured a rollercoaster race but managed to fight back and end his Tour on a high on cycling’s most famous mountain finish.

“I wanted to get to Paris with no regrets and I’ve done that now by winning. Now I can celebrate and hold my head high,” he said after his win.

"It’s my third win of 2015 and my third mountain top finish after also winning in Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. I’m proud of that and think it shows the kind of rider I am.

“We had a lot of trouble in the first week, but we knew that we were going to fight until the end and I feel that we deserve this victory, and it’s great for the team. We had a tough race losing William Bonnet and then Steve Morabito. It took us time to overcome the shock of William’s nasty crash. I’ve also been sick and had a mechanical on the cobbles. My morale was pretty low after the first four or five days but managed to focus again thanks to a good atmosphere in the team. I need a friendly atmosphere in the team to perform, and we had that at FDJ.”

Bardet has competed against his general classification rivals but also against his fellow Frenchmen Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin) and especially Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who won the mountain stage on Friday to Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.