It’s half-time and the score is 1-0 – Pinot ‘very much alive’ in Tour

Groupama-FDJ rider Thibaut Pinot

It is only half-time in Thibaut Pinot’s Tour de France bid, according to Groupama-FDJ chief Marc Madiot.

Groupama-FDJ feel there has been an overreaction to Thibaut Pinot’s tricky stage 10 at the Tour de France, insisting he is “very much alive” in the general classification.

Pinot had been third heading into Monday’s racing but a tough ride in the wind saw him tumble all the way back to 11th, two minutes and 33 seconds off the pace.

The Frenchman had been in good form coming into the Tour, finishing fifth at the Criterium du Dauphine after wins at the Tour du Haut Var and Tour de l’Ain.

And team boss Marc Madiot is adamant Pinot is still in the mix, comparing his situation to trailing by a single goal at half-time in a football match.

“When I read the newspapers this morning and looking at various cycling websites, I had the impression we were preparing for a burial,” Madiot said on Tuesday’s rest day.

“But I can assure you that we are very much alive and in good health.

“Cycling is ups and downs. Yesterday we descended more than we climbed. We’ve done 10 stages, now there are 10 stages left, and those 10 are the hardest stages.

“If we were in a football match, we’d say it’s half-time and the score is 1-0. That is not a defeat, it’s not the end of the match. We have numerous examples in sport: it’s never over.

“We’d have preferred not to lose one minute 40 yesterday but the Tour is never linear, it never works out like how you’d dreamt it.

“The first week went perfectly, there were no faults. Okay, there was a collective error yesterday, and it was expensive, but we have to accept it.

“That’s the law of sport, the race. We’re not going to give up.”