This one, we will have to digest it. Thibaut Pinot did not hide "a big, big disappointment" after finishing second this Friday in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, during the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Very offensive but too lonely, the Groupama-FDJ climber was surprised by Einer Rubio. The Colombian from Movistar did not give up and, more roublard in the final, won with six seconds ahead of the Frenchman and 1 minute and 35 seconds on the main favorites who neutralized themselves.

Thibaut Pinot must admit defeat... Great animator of the day, the Frenchman takes second place in the 13th stage of the #Giro behind the Colombian Einer Rubio and will console himself with the jersey of best climber and a nice climb in the general classification#LesRP

— Eurosport France (@Eurosport_FR) May 19, 2023

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Pinot had however distanced Rubio several times in the final climb of a shortened stage. The organizers had decided to plane the course by removing the Col du Grand-Saint-Bernard because of bad weather and the general state of disrepair of the peloton, undermined by Covid and diseases.

"I do not calculate my efforts and they have only done that," regretted the future retiree, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday on May 29. "It's often the winner who is right but I'm disappointed, it was a great opportunity." Pinot was especially angry with the third rider of the breakaway, the Ecuadorian Jefferson Cepeda (EF Education), whom he accuses of not having taken "a single stint".

Blue jersey recovered and return to the Top 10

"I don't understand how you can hope to win in this way. I didn't want Cepeda to win, I would have put my guts not to let him go, "lamented Pinot who takes the blue jersey of best climber and integrates the Top 10, in 10th place, 3 minutes and 13 seconds from the pink jersey Geraint Thomas.

But it is a small consolation for this lover of the Giro, who dreams of winning a second stage in this event, after the one in 2017 in Asiago, before folding the saplings. Instead, he finished second for the fourth time this season. He hasn't raised his arms since his Tour de Suisse stage win in June 2022.

Escaped very early

The Franc-Comtois was nevertheless the great animator of the day. But he wasted a lot of strength arguing non-stop with Cepeda. The two men did not stop attacking each other and then shouting at each other, while behind Rubio remained focused on his effort, without flinching.

"If I don't ride we are standing still, I hope they will thank me at least for having been able to play for the victory," fumed Pinot, very agitated during the stage and who also resented the rest of the group with whom he had escaped at the foot of the Croix-de-Coeur, a few minutes after the start.

"I knew I had to force fate into the first pass. I've been gnawing on the brake for 15 days. I was sick, now I have my legs. With Bruno [Armirail, his teammate] I said: 'let's go, let's go'. I lose the general, it doesn't matter. Eighth, seventh, I don't care. I wanted the step. »

To his sports directors, "in the headset I said: 'Leave me alone, I'm just doing my own thing. Maybe I do anything, but let me enjoy,'" he added. But it was finally Rubio (25) who benefited the most by pocketing the greatest success of his career. Pinot may be able to forget his bitterness during a particularly mountainous third week.

  • Cycling
  • Sport
  • Giro
  • Thibaut Pinot
  • Italy
  • Switzerland
  • Groupama FDJ