With apologies to David De La Cruz, there was only one winner the crowd wanted to see win in Lienz on Friday. Twenty-four hours after an emotional second place , Thibaut Pinot finally got the victory that he had been working so hard for, and radiated pure ecstasy as he crossed the finish line.
To show you how popular the Frenchman is, yesterday after he had collapsed after just falling short of the win, Geoffrey Bouchard of Ag2r Citroën approached the media scrum surround Pinot, and looked full of joy after he assumed his countryman had got the victory. After being told that it was not true, Bouchard’s face fell. Everyone’s face seemed to fall.
On stage five of the Tour of the Alps, by contrast, everyone was beaming (apart from De La Cruz and Astana). The Groupama-FDJ staff were over the moon to witness the return of their biggest star, the big show himself.
Pinot admitted post-race that he never thought he would get back here, back to his winning ways. He has promised so much during his career, and delivered too, but it looked like the difficulties he has had to endure had got the better of him.
Since a crash at the 2020 Tour de France , the Groupama rider has had a long journey back to the top, and Friday marked 1,007 days since his last victory, on the Tourmalet at the 2019 Tour.
"This is a very important win in my career," he said. "It’s going to be an […]