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Pinot and Bardet find redemption in the Alps

Pinot and Bardet find redemption in the Alps

There was a sense after Thibaut Pinot had the stage four win at the Tour of the Alps ripped from him at the last minute…

Friday, Apr 22

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There was a sense after Thibaut Pinot had the stage four win at the Tour of the Alps ripped from him at the last minute that he would be out for revenge.

In his post-race interview after stage four, he was chewing wasps, spitting angry that Miguel Ángel López had denied him a victory that would have capped off his return to form. It would have been the confidence boost to provide the final piece of the jigsaw for a rider who can often be accused of not having the head to match his supreme legs.

And so, on the final stage five, he hauled himself up the road once again in search of a comeback victory, looking to finally break his 1,007-day duck.

After the big breakaway group formed, Pinot was on the right side of every selection until it was just the Frenchman and Astana’s David de la Cruz up the road. For 66km, the pair toiled toward the finish line, De la Cruz with his own point to prove, winless for a year longer than Pinot.

At the bottom of the final climb, it looked like it could be heartbreak again as Pinot suffered a mechanical. A mechanic hung out the back of the team car and managed to right the issue. Then the Frenchman attacked, momentarily dropping his collaborator.

The Groupama-FDJ man tightened his shoes into the final kilometer, grimacing with every fibre as he accelerated over the final kick toward the line. His Spanish companion was empty, and so […]

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