Thibaut Pinot, captain of FDJ, decided to not start stage 16 and put a damper on French hopes for this Tour. Not that he was threatening in the GC, after stage 15 he was 52nd overall. He didn't start today's stage due to a sore throat. He already confessed that he has major problems on descents.
"Some people are afraid of spiders or snakes. I'm afraid of speed. It's a phobia."
photo Pascal Guyot
The pressure was too great for the 23 year old, captaincy and placed on the French pedestal as the next Tour winner. Last year's 10th overall and stage win catapulted Pinot into the French spotlight. Now, he's no longer in the race. The Badger knows the pressure of winning-he won many races and lost few and said before the Tour, "Now Pinot must confirm. And often that is the hardest thing to do."
Did the Badger know something we didn't?
Calling Tommy Voeckler?
As pressure mounts for a French rider to win a stage in this Tour, today's exciting stage was won by, no not a Frenchman, but Protugal's Rui Costa. It's not all lost, French riders finished today's stage: 2-Christophe Riblon, 3-Arnold Jeannesson & 4-Jerome Coppel. And, tomorrow's the TT that will be nothing compared to the upcoming three hellish days in the Alps. Can the French be denied a stage in this 100th Tour? I don't want to think about it further...
Allez! Allez! France!
Riblon second after stage 16. AG2R La Mondiale renewals
sponsorship through 2016.
via Campagnolo Srl