Tipu Pinot‘s (Groupama-FDJHe saw his dream of winning 2020 Tour de France It evaporates with more than 40 km to go on Stage 8 when the French was dropped on the second ascent of the day, Port de Balès.
The Frenchman entered the first day in the Pyrenees in ninth place, just 13 seconds off the lead Adam Yates (Michelton Scott) but finished in more than 25 minutes.
The 30-year-old was 41 km to climb on stage, nearly halfway up the HC at Port de Balès as Jumbo-Visma set the pace.
Groupama-FDJ had already lost road captain William Bonnet, who abandoned him before dropping Pinot, and while the remaining Groupama-FDJ racers rallied around Pinot, the gap quickly decreased from just 15 seconds to more than six minutes as the peloton reached the summit of Port de Palais.
Pinot crashes in the first stage of the race right in the last 3 kilometers of a wet and dangerous stage in Nice. He was given the same time with the commanders and during the rest of the first week he appeared unscathed.
In Stage Seven, the Frenchman and his team were present and squeezed as Peloton split in crosswinds – losing 1:40 last year. However, upon entering the eighth stage, he spoke about the strength of the other teams.
Having been shot down in Stage E, Pinot seemed to extend his back, and French media were quick to link his performance to the after-effects of Stage 1’s downfall. He crossed the streak in Loudenvielle 25:23 down on theater winner Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) and 18:43 down on the GC set.
At the end of the eighth stage, Mark Madiot submitted his assessment to Eurosport:
“We’re not going to cry about that. We’ll go ahead. It’s useless to cry. I still don’t think he recovered from this accident on the first leg of the tour. In the mountains, it’s always tough anyway.”
“He’s been struggling since the second stage and we really thought he was feeling better. He was not at the same level he was in the Critérium du Dauphiné. We can say that today was tough for him.
“We’ll have to recover, then have a rest day, and hopefully we can look at stage victories or the Mountain King’s shirt.”