Thibaut Pinot calls time on 2016 season

The bronchitis and viral infection that saw Thibaut Pinot abandon the Tour de France on stage 13 and skip the Olympic Games as a consequence has now ended the season of the 26-year-old FDJ rider. Pinot hasn't raced since the Tour in July and won't pin on a race number again in 2016 as he explained in a series of tweets.

"Since my abandonment at @letour persistent tiredness due to a virus made me late in the preparation of the final month of competition (1/4)", Pinot tweeted. "In accordance with @EquipeFDJ I prefer to put an end to my 2016 season and I want to recharge my batteries to maximum. (2/4)

"I am already motivated to prepare for next season which promises to be exciting! (3/4) Thank you all for your support! See you this winter for new pr adventures @EquipeFDJ @scottsports @oakley".

Team manager Marc Madiot had suggested in the days after Pinot's abandon that Il Lombardia would be an end of season goal following his podium finish in 2015. However, there will be Pinot on the start line for the fifth and final monument of the 2016 season.

Pinot started his season with second at the GP Marseillaise, third overall at the Etoile de Bessèges, fourth at Volta ao Algarve, and fifth at Tirreno-Adriatico before taking the Critérium International title. He continued his good early season form with fourth place at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco and second at Tour de Romandie where he also won the Sion time trial. Despite taking a stage win at the Criterium du Dauphiné, Pinot's pre-Tour race started to fade. 

Victory in the French national time trial titles one week before the Tour demonstrated Pinot's progression against the clock in 2016 but it all unraveled for the Frenchman at the wrong time before he withdrew from the three week race for the second time in his career.

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