Limoges (AFP)

Thibaut Pinot, back from convalescence to treat his traumatized back during his fall on the Tour de France 2020, will be the main attraction of the 54th Tour du Limousin which starts on Tuesday from Isle (Haute-Vienne) for four days.

Four months after his last appearance in competition during the Tour des Alpes, the leader of the Groupama-FDJ formation, who had given up taking the start of the Giro and bypassed the Tour 2021, will test himself on the hilly roads of the Limousin.

"I feel like a brand new runner, very young, with a lot of desire. It's been a long time since I was so impatient and motivated to give a bib," said Pinot.

"I have struggled so much on my bike since I fell last year ... For a month since I have been cycling without really pain and with sensations, I have the impression of rediscovering the pleasure on a bike" , he adds.

Frenchman Thibaut Pinot, during the 10th stage of the Tour de France, September 8, 2020 between Le Château d'Oléron and Saint-Martin-de-Ré Anne-Christine POUJOULAT AFP / Archives

With his young compatriot Valentin Madouas, winner of the Polynormande on Sunday, and the Swiss Sébastien Reichenbach, the Franc-Comtois will be well supported, with a course offering several short climbs every day.

But the competition will be strong, especially among the French teams.

AG2R Citroën will be led by Belgian Greg Van Avermaet, Olympic champion in 2016 and Benoît Cosnefroy, winner of the Tour du Limousin in 2019.

The Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (d), escaped with the German Roger Kluge, during the 6th stage of the Tour de France, July 1, 2021 between Tours and Châteauroux Thomas SAMSON AFP / Archives

Cofidis will bet on sprinter Christophe Laporte, Victor Lafay, stage winner on the Giro this year, Simon Geschke or Anthony Perez.

B&B Hotels will look great with Franck Bonnamour, named super-combative of the last Tour de France, Bryan Coquard, Pierre Rolland or Quentin Pacher.

For its part, Arkea Samsic will rely mainly on puncher Warren Barguil and Total Energies will rely on the experience of Alexandre Geniez, Julien Simon or Lorrenzo Manzin.

The Italian Luca Wackermann (Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team), victorious last year, will also be present to try the pass of two.

Steps:

Tuesday August 17: Isle (Haute-Vienne) - Sainte-Feyre (Creuse), 183.3 km

Wednesday August 18: Agonac (Dordogne) - Payzac (Dordogne), 172 km

Thursday August 19: Bugeat (Corrèze) - Lubersac (Corrèze), 184.2 km

Friday August 20: Sauviat-sur-Vige (Haute-Vienne) - Limoges (Haute-Vienne), 169.7 km

The teams:

AG2R Citroën Team, Cofidis, Groupama - FDJ, B & BHotels p / b KTM, Delko, Team Arkea Samsic, Team Total Energies, Saint-Michel - Auber 93, Xelliss Roubaix Lille Métropole (FRA), Alpecin - Fenix, Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ( BEL), Eolo Kometa, Euskaltel - Euskadi (ESP), Gazprom - Rusvelo, Kern Pharma (RUS), Team Novo Nordisk (United States), Bardiani CSF Faizane, Eolo Kometa, Vini Zabu (ITA)

© 2021 AFP

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