• Thibaut Pinot of France and Team Groupama FDJ during Stage 8 of the 2020 Tour de France. (Velo)Source: Velo
Groupama-FDJ rider Thibaut Pinot's 2020 Tour de France hopes are all but over as the Frenchman was dropped on the second climb of Stage 8 in the Pyrenees.
SBS Cycling Central

6 Sep 2020 - 7:38 AM 

Pinot entered the day sitting in ninth overall, just 13 seconds off leader Adam Yates (Michelton-Scott), despite suffering a nasty crash in the final three kilometres of a wet Stage 1.

However, the 30-year-old saw his progress eradicated, as he was distanced from the race leaders with 41kilometres left in the stage on the ascent of the Port de Balès, the second climb of a testing stage.

Pinot crossed the line in Loudenvielle a huge 18 minutes and 43 seconds behind the GC group and a further 25 minutes and 23 seconds behind stage winner Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) in what will surely be a detrimental blow to his dream of taking out the yellow jersey.

It appears the Frenchman may still be suffering the effects of his crash in Nice, as he was seen stretching his back in discomfort after being dropped despite completing the previous stages seemingly unencumbered.

Groupama FDJ's directeur sportif Marc Madiot was frank in his assessment of Pinot's efforts, choosing to look ahead rather than dwell on the setback.

"We’re not going to cry about it." Madiot said. "We’re going to move forward. There’s no point in crying. I still don’t think that he’s recovered from that crash on the first stage of the Tour. In the mountains, it’s always difficult anyway.

"He’s been struggling since the second stage and we really thought that he was feeling better. He just wasn’t on the same level as he was on the Critérium du Dauphiné. We can tell that today was a tough one for him.

"We’re going to have to recover, then have the rest day,  and hopefully, we can look at stage wins or the king of the mountains jersey."

The Tour de France continues in the Pyrenees tomorrow, with another mountainous stage from Pau to Laurens set to test the peloton with steep climbs on the agenda. Watch the action from 8.05pm AEST on the SBS ŠKODA Tour Tracker and from 8.30pm on SBS HD and SBS On Demand.