Thibaut Pinot (left) and his father Régis (no label). - A.-C. Poujoulat / AFP and Mélizey Town Hall
- Thibaut Pinot's father is worried that his son will once again be betrayed by his physique during the Tour de France 2020.
- Régis Pinot admits that the Tour is “difficult” for parents to follow: “After his retirement last year, he suffered for months and so did we. "
From our special correspondent in Nice,
Dear readers, we must warn you: this interview could depress you. You were already moderately in shape because of the start of the school year and the coronavirus? Was the Tour de France your breath of fresh air? Did you dream of Thibaut Pinot winning the yellow jersey? Oops. You risk being disillusioned by reading the words of Régis Pinot, father of the leader of Groupama-FDJ and mayor of the town of Mélizey (Haute-Saône).
Do you think the Jumbo-Visma are going to lock the race?
We can end up with a completely padlocked race where no one can do anything. As on the Dauphiné: the leader of the Jumbo gives up in the morning, they have a gregario (Sepp Kuss) who wins the stage in the afternoon. When they lock out, no one comes out. But their fight with Ineos can benefit the other teams.
Is Groupama-FDJ armed to fight against these armadas?
It is not comparable! But if the guys get back into shape last year, Thibaut can have a good team… For now, we'll wait, we'll see.
Bernal ahead of Pinot in Occitanie, and if we had our duel for the Tour? via @ 20minutesSport https://t.co/9reDquIWgb- 20 Minutes Sport (@ 20minutesSport) August 4, 2020
Many observers say that the course, very mountainous, is cut out for him, that it is his year ...
Every year is his year. We say that about Thibaut since 2014 (his first podium on the Tour de France). Raymond Poulidor too, it was always his year… And he has never been a yellow jersey!
Thibaut is in what state of mind?
Mentally, it's okay. He has the pressure because he is the only Frenchman who plays the general. He is eagerly awaited.
On the way for the tour! 💪🏻😜 pic.twitter.com/GIEEFYQhNX- PINOT Thibaut (@ThibautPinot) August 26, 2020
Will he make alliances with other French leaders?
I hope ! We saw it on the Dauphiné: for me, if Julian (Alaphilippe) did not take over, Thibaut would have left the podium. I think Thibaut will return the favor if he needs to on the Tour. With Bardet, it's a little less… I'm not going to draw you a sketch, eh?
Is Thibaut worried about being infected with the coronavirus?
You know what athletes are like: the slightest grain of sand can put the machine to a stop. He is very careful. When with my wife, we had the coronavirus this winter, he gave us bread and newspapers through the window… You never know.
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Will the # tourdefrance2020 go to Paris? With the #coronavirus, "we have a sword of Damocles above our heads", Bernard Thévenet told me. "There will be cases of # covid19 but we are able to preserve the bubble," assures those around Roxana Maracineanu. The Minister of Sports will be at #Nice tomorrow with Jean-Michel Blanquer. The government is counting a lot on the #TourdeFrance to bring out smiles behind the masks of the French: “It's a positive signal. It's a victory to be able to organize it, ”continues our source. The rest will be read in @ 20minutes. With in particular the fears of runners, always hypochondriacs. Publication this afternoon or this evening, I will polish the Paint assembly for you. 🎨 #cycling #tourdefrance #journalism #velo @letourdefrance
A post shared by Jean Saint-Marc (@jeansaintmarc) on Aug 28, 2020 at 4:32 am PDT
This year, the Tour is later, there can be very cold rains… You quickly caught a flu!
Thibaut Pinot has the reputation of being a fragile runner ...
He may be a little more fragile than some. But when we recovered him at the top of Ventoux, in 2013, when he had 40 degrees of fever, it was a wreck. I still wonder how he didn't die that day. Last year, he suffered a football injury (a thigh injury). We still don't know what it was. That's why I always tell the supporters that you have to live from day to day.
Are you pessimistic about this year?
Last year, when he returned after his retirement in the Alps, he suffered for months and so did we. For my wife and I, the Tour de France is not all fun. It is even a painful thing for us. We find ourselves booking accommodation, driving… And we see the stage when he has given up… It's difficult.
It might be different this year ...
I hope. I'm not even talking about a victory but just that he can express himself, that he finish the Tour on his true value. If another is stronger, that's okay! But this year, everything will be very complicated… The Tour can stop if there is too much contamination, the teams can be excluded quickly (from two positive riders in seven days). We must not anticipate anything.
So you are going to wait for the decisive time trial on September 19, at home, in Mélisey, to see your son on the Tour?
I do not know. (He hesitates). We do not plan anything, because otherwise we are too disappointed. But if he takes the yellow jersey, we'll get in the car at 3 am to be there the next day!
Tour de France: Thibaut Pinot, finally "100% leader" and ready to meet all expectations
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- Thibaut Pinot
- Tour de France