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Thibaut Pinot has announced his retirement at the end of the 2023 season.
The Frenchman, who has become known as a rider who wears his emotions on his sleeve, will hang up his racing wheels after 14 years. He turned professional in 2010.
Among Pinot’s achievements during his career was a podium finish at the 2014 Tour de France, a win at Il Lombardia, and stage victories at all three grand tours.
“It’s a decision I’ve carefully considered over the years. I’m excited for the new things I’ll be able to discover after my career, but I’m just as excited to race in this last year. I have rarely been so motivated before a season, and I want to finish in style. I will do everything and I will continue to do everything to achieve the best possible results,” Pinot said.
Pinot’s career has seen plenty of success, but it has also been marked by some major challenges.
Early in his career, he struggled with descending with his fear of downhills often seeing him drop out of contention at key moments. He overcame that issue by working on his descending skills and taking lessons in a racing car to help combat the fear of speed.
More recently, he battled with a back issue that he picked up at the start of the 2020 Tour de France in a crash on the opening stage. He raced just 38 days in 2021 as he recovered from the back issues.
However, there were glimpses of his old self last year and he took his first win since 2019 when he soloed to a stage victory at the Tour of the Alps.
“In 2019, when he told me ‘I’m going to drop everything,’ we were in the heat of the moment. I didn’t believe him for a second. I knew he would want to bounce back. I didn’t need to read tea leaves,” Groupama-FDJ boss Marc Madiot said. “He was also in trouble in 2020 and 2021, he wanted to drop everything, but he wouldn’t let go. I didn’t know how and when he would come back, but he still had the fire inside him. It wasn’t time yet.
“Now he’s making a successful comeback and I’m sure he’ll have a successful departure. The fact that he is now a fully-fledged rider again and that he is back to a high level surely helps him to make his decision today. The general context also has a big influence. Thibaut has seen that cycling has changed between the beginning of his career and today. We are no longer on the same pattern, and that is not his thing, he experienced something else. I totally understand that.”
À l'issue de la saison 2023, Thibaut Pinot mettra un terme à sa carrière après 14 années professionnelles. pic.twitter.com/LgsRPvNXd0
— Équipe Cycliste Groupama-FDJ (@GroupamaFDJ) January 12, 2023