After early success at the Tour, Thibaut Pinot has distanced himself from his home event, preferring to focus on the Giro and Vuelta. But for 2019, the French climber will return to focus on climbing his way to a top result. Like other GC riders of his generation, Pinot’s ascendance into a grand tour star has been thwarted by the domination of Team Sky/Ineos, especially at his home race. After his third place finish in 2014 Pinot was crowned by the French media as the next new home of French cycling.
Could this be the year that Pinot equals — or bests — his podium finish from five years ago? Perhaps. Froome’s absence opens the door for a top climber to come to the fore, and Pinot is among the best in the peloton. As such, Groupama-FDJ has built a capable roster of climbers to support Pinot in the high mountains. Sébastien Reichenbach, Rudy Molard, and David Gaudu are exciting riders on the longest, steepest climbs in the Alps and Pyrenees. Stefan Küng will be the engine that powers Groupama’s efforts in the team time trial and on the flats.
Groupama’s well-rounded squad speaks to its intentions: Help Pinot win the Tour.
Thibaut Pinot, William Bonnet, Anthony Roux, Sébastien Reichenbach, Rudy Molard, David Gaudu, Stefan Küng, Matthieu Ladagnous