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Thibaut Pinot abandons the Vuelta a España as back pain persists

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

Thibaut Pinot has abandoned the Vuelta a España and ended his 2020 season due to persistent back pain caused by his crash in Nice at the start of the Tour de France in August. He opted not to start stage 3 after losing time during the opening stages. 

The Groupama-FDJ team leader suffered a back injury on the opening stage of the Tour de France when he crashed and another rider rode into him. At the end of the first week, it was clear he was out of yellow jersey contention, although he struggled on to Paris.

The 30-year-old Frenchman had not raced since but seemed motivated to get something out of his season in Spain. However the Groupama-FDJ posted on social media that he was out of the race and Pinot was not seen at the sign-on of stage 3.    

“Despite the rest period he observed, the two first stages of the Vuelta have shown Thibaut Pinot continues to suffer from the back pain he experienced after his crash on the first day of the Tour de France in Nice,” Groupama-FDJ said on social media. 

“With regard to the next season, priority is given to his complete recovery: he will not take the start of the third stage this Thursday and will no longer compete in 2020.”

Pinot lost ten minutes on stage one and a further 15 minutes on stage 2 before making the decision to abandon the Vuelta a España. 

Team leadership will now pass to 24-year-old former Tour de l'Avenir winner David Gaudu.

However, he also endured a difficult Tour de France after a problematic build-up to the summer. He is already 3:20 down on race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and so is likely to try to target stage victories.