Pinot pulls out of Oman

Thibaut Pinot ( has had to delay the start to his season, after being forced out of the Tour of Oman with a fever.

"Non-starter this morning for the Tour of Oman," the French rider tweeted. "Fever of 39 when I woke this morning. So much effort for nothing again. Now rest until the end of the week, start from scratch and begin a new preparation for a new objective."

Pinot had been suffering for a few days, but chose to wait until the day of the first stage to see if he could recover in time. André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the opening day’s sprint.

The Frenchman has been pipped as one of France’s next big things, even more so after his stage win at the 2012 Tour de France. He had a mixed season last year, finishing seventh at the Vuelta a España, but pulling out of the Tour de France.

The year was marked by his troubles on the descent and he is looking to conquer his fear before he makes his return to the Tour de France in July.

The next race on Pinot’s calendar is the Classic Sud Ardèche on March 1.

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