Thibaut Pinot is set to skip the 2021 Tour de France, according to French media, with the Groupama-FDJ instead set to contest the Giro d’Italia in May.
Once again, Pinot is said to have tired of the pressure that comes with riding his home Grand Tour as a contender, while the 2021 route is also less mountainous and therefore not as suited to his abilities as the previous couple of editions.
Instead, Pinot will turn his attention back to the Giro d’Italia, according to RMC Sport, which the Frenchman has an affinity for, with this year’s route set to unveiled soon.
The 30-year-old would take leadership of the Groupama-FDJ squad at the Giro, with top billing at the Tour de France potentially falling into the hands of compatriot Arnaud Démare. The French sprinter was disappointed to not be included in the 2020 Tour squad, which was geared towards a full GC tilt for Pinot, who suffered through the three weeks after a crash on stage one. Démare instead rode the Giro, winning four stages on his way to taking the points classification.
After the disappointment of the Tour Pinot lined up for the Vuelta a España but didn’t take the start on stage three, his fifth Grand Tour abandonment in five years.
After his break from the Tour in 2018, Pinot then emotionally abandoned the 2019 edition in the last week as he looked to have one hand on the yellow jersey. He first rode the Giro in 2017, finishing fourth, where he was kept from the podium by a lung infection, 1-17 behind winner Tom Dumoulin.
Groupama-FDJ will host an online team presentation for the new season on Tuesday January 19, where they could announce these rumoured plans for the upcoming season.
Last week, the team also announced David Gaudu would lead the team at Paris-Nice in March, the 24-year-old Frenchman impressing in 2020, winning two stages at the Vuelta a España and finishing eighth overall.