Thibaut Pinot gains confidence in Catalunya

Having failed to finish th first two stage races he entered in 2014, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)  persevered through the rain and cold at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya placing 13th overall, 1:20 behind winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha). Pinot was 15th on both of the two mountainous stages.

The 23-year-old Pinot pulled the pin on the Tour of Oman earlier in the season due to a fever and then also withdrew from Tirremo-Adriactico on Stage 4. Director sportif for the Spanish race, Yvon Madiot was pleased by the efforts of his rider

"Thibaut came back into the game and if we were told that earlier this week [of his performance] after his difficult start to the season, we would have been okay," Madiot told's website.  "While he did not score any WorldTour points, thirteenth place overall and repeated efforts, [Pinot is] recovering well and it is a pleasure."

The final stage of the race was won by Astana's Lieuwe Westra but strong efforts by Cédric Pineau and Thibaut almost brought the Dutchman back to set up a bunch sprint finish.

"Thibaut had good legs but the others did not want to work with him. Maybe they were not able," Madiot said.

The next race for Pinot is the Tour of the Basque Country next week where he will look to improve on his Catalunya performance as he builds for the Tour de France in July.

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