Pyrenees.Jumbo plays at being Ineos and Pogacar takes a slice
The Tour de France no longer knows how to tell
that it does not love him, to leave him alone, that there was never really love and that, no matter how hard he tries, he will never win him over.
Let him seek happiness elsewhere because he will never achieve it with him.
And Pinot, after so many years of disappointments and vain hopes, so many 'cobras' disguised as the most varied casuistry, seems to have finally understood that his tenacity is no longer worth it and is preparing for the' au revoir ', rather a' adieu 'to the career that in recent times has fueled his daily work.
"There are already too many failures,
my career enters a new stage today,
" he explained this Saturday at the finish line, devastated after a new setback in the race that he believed to be a fetish even though it never was.
Stripped and sheltered by five of his six gregarious, Pinot had reached the goal 19 minutes after the rest of the favorites, the group to which until now he belonged by right.
Goodbye to any aspiration to finish the Tour on the podium.
On this occasion, the reason for his misfortune was the crash he suffered in the first stage, in which the peloton suffered a real carnage.
Since then, a week, Pinot suffered low back pain that he tried to alleviate with
several hours a day of physiotherapy treatment
In pain, his tenacity had allowed him to reach the Pyrenees without wasted time.
But no more.
"We have been masking it for a few days, but when the difficult thing has come we have not been able to do it", lamented Marc Madiot, the director of the Groupama-FDJ.
With him cries again a country wounded in its pride for decades, unable to crown one of its compatriots in Paris since the victory of
in 1985, 35 years of unbearable drought.
Pinot has been together with Romain Bardet (aside from Julian Alaphilippe's quest for the impossible last year) the main French hope of the last decade, but it will not be this year and perhaps it will never be.
In fact, his first intention this course was to bet on the Giro, but the stoppage due to the pandemic made him alter his plans.
What happened last year, when he was forced to quit while in the prime of his career, still weighed on his mind.
He was fifth overall and had proven himself, alongside Egan Bernal, the fittest climber in the peloton when the unimaginable happened to him, a thigh muscle injury.
"The doctors compared it to a football injury, but it
is very rare to suffer it during a Tour
. We would like to know what happened, but we still have not found an answer and it is frustrating. It is a mystery," he explained, resigned, months later in 'L 'Equip'.
Of course, his black legend is not limited to the last two years.
Not even on the Tour.
In 2018 he left the Giro
after suffering severe dehydration that a day before had made him lose third place.
In 2017 the effort in the Italian test (in which he finished fourth) prevented him from completing the Tour.
In 2016 it was bronchitis that made him abandon the French event.
And in 2013 he suffered from angina and threw in the towel after the second day of rest.
Difficult to accumulate more misfortunes.
Only in 2014 did he manage to get on the podium in Paris, in the third drawer, although he has three stage victories on the Tour in 2012, 2015 and 2019. In his seven previous appearances in the gala round, he has only achieved reaching the
in 2012 and 2014. Little baggage for one of the best climbers of his generation.
His problem is that the Tour does not love him and that is something that, despite his insistence, he will never be able to change.
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See links of interest
Santander League Calendar
Stage 8, live: Cazères-Sur-Garonne-Loudenvielle