Pinot wants to compare his form to his rivals at Route d'Occitanie

With team coach and older brother Julien Pinot’s help, Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot rode strongly at the 2019 Tour de France, but was forced out of the race with an untimely thigh injury while in fifth place overall
Thibaut Pinot rode strongly at the 2019 Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Thibaut Pinot says the priority during his first-ever appearance at the Route d'Occitanie is to measure the level of his form compared to his Tour de France rivals with four weeks still to go until the Tour's Grand Départ in Nice. "My goal is to see where I am compared to the others," he said at an eve-of-the-race press conference in Saint Affrique.

"Everyone will be motivated to be at a real race with a level worthy of the WorldTour. Come Tuesday evening we'll all be happy to have raced here," the Groupama-FDJ leader added. "The key thing is to confirm that my preparation is good and that I'm at the same level as my Tour rivals. While it's important to win, of course, it's not an obsession for me this week. The crucial thing is to get back into racing and rediscover my racing form as quickly as possible."

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).