Tour de France: a “guardian angel” named Thibaut Pinot in the service of David Gaudu

Tour de France: a “guardian angel” named Thibaut Pinot in the service of David Gaudu

Brilliant in recent weeks, the Franc-Comtois who returns to the Tour will play a team role in the service of Breton David Gaudu within the Groupama-FDJ formation.

“We will have one leader. We had long talked about three bridgeheads, we have reviewed our plan. We needed a rider capable of getting through the first week well. We will leave with David Gaudu as leader. The team was built around him. Thibaut Pinot will be David Gaudu’s guardian angel in the mountains, as will Michael Storer. The circumstances of the race may open doors…”

At the time of lifting the veil on the articulation of the Groupama-FDJ team, Marc Madiot, the manager, did not let the suspense hang over during a videoconference in Copenhagen. And to explain: “The presentation of the first steps is frightening. We’ll go with it. We are told of delicate moments on the bridge (2nd stage). The Tour will have two parts: the first of a good week to take us to the cobblestones (5th stage), then a more usual second part which should allow us to find the climbers at the forefront. The goal of the game for a team like ours is to preserve our climbers so that they are in the match to attack the mountain as close as possible to the yellow jersey. »

The team is aiming for a place on the podium. David Gaudu (who will experience a 5th Tour was 13th in 2019, 11th in 2021) who was warned during the Critérium du Dauphiné assures: “With Thibaut, we worked a lot together, it was so natural from the start that we doesn’t necessarily need to talk to each other. It should go very well. “The podium goal does not scare the Breton (25 years old): “If we don’t set a high goal, we don’t move forward. France has been waiting for a French winner since Bernard Hinault (1985), we must not put pressure on ourselves about that. »

Thibaut Pinot, who was affected by the Covid after the Tour de Suisse, says: “The timing fell pretty well but there was a bit of stress. The leadership position? It happened naturally. I did not feel fit to be a leader in the Tour de France. Being a leader on the Tour is psychologically exhausting. Marc (Madiot) understood it, the staff too. We weren’t fighting for leadership. David wanted it, he got it naturally. In another role, I will take more pleasure.”

Marc Madiot adds: “David Gaudu is a runner who likes to run at the front, he rubs, does not spend too much energy rubbing, where Thibaut left more kerosene on the road, it was not in his nature. of runner. David has more of that in him. This is a significant advantage. Downhill, at one time Thibaut descended moderately, after that he was a little less good. On that side, David has no shortcomings either. In the mountains, maybe Thibaut was a bit more complete, but maybe David has more flashes. David has everything it takes to make a good Tour de France rider.”

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