Pinot to gain experience at Tour of Lombardy

FDJ-BigMat rider Thibaut Pinot will line up at the Giro di Lombardia and close his season with the Italian Classic. The 22-year-old climber holds great promise for French cycling, and even though he's been feeling tired at the end of an intense season, Pinot wants to give it everything one last time in order to target the 'race of the falling leaves' in the near future.

"The Giro di Lombardia attracts me a lot, I want to shine there one day," the Frenchman told L'Equipe. "To me, it's the most beautiful route in the world. I discovered the race last year, and I just loved it. [Contrary to the Ardennes Classics], Lombardia is much more for the climbers, with its ascents of seven or eight kilometers. My objective is to gain experience there and soak up every detail of the race so that I'll be ready to contend for the win once I'll be in a position to do it."

Admitting that he doesn't have "the condition to hope for any result" at the Northern Italian Classic this year, Pinot was eager to change this as soon as next season. His racing schedule has been more or less the same for three years, with lots of competition in the spring and much less in autumn, which he now wants to modify.

"If I want to do well in Lombardia, then I'll have to do the Vuelta or something equivalent. I've asked to do something different next year. I can't compensate for racing in training, especially not at the end of the season. It's a shame to be adding up races in March and April and then nothing more at the end of the season..." he added.

Ending his 2012 calendar in Lombardia this Saturday, the FDJ rider is looking forward to some well-deserved rest, followed by a good build-up for the next season. "After Lombardy, I'll stop with the bike for one month. One month to really do something else other than cycling! After that, I'll start training again - basic, classic training on the road. I don't think I'll do any cyclo-cross this winter, except the races organised by Steve Chainel and Laurent Mangel. They are friends of mine, and I've been attending their events for two years in a row."

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