While the Etoile de Bessèges or the Tour de La Provence have enabled some of the top names in the peloton to restart, the Tour du Haut-Var will allow Thibaut Pinot to set off without ambitions, unlike David Gaudu.
It’s time for the leaders of the Groupama-FDJ team to resume. While riders like Julian Alaphilippe, Egan Bernal or Vincenzo Nibali recently returned to the professional peloton on the occasion of the Etoile de Bessèges or the Tour de La Provence, Thibaut Pinot, David Gaudu and others waited for the Tour du Haut- Var, contested over three days next weekend. The leaders of the training led by Marc Madiot will meet Geraint Thomas, Nairo Quintana, Jakob Fuglsang, Bauke Mollema or Pierre Latour on a demanding course. But, for Thibaut Pinot, the time is not for ambition but for collective work.
“I’m not going there to play my card, I’m here to help the group. My preparation was not ideal with this cold winter, I need to ride and gain kilometers, said the one who will be present on the Giro in 2021, leaving aside the Tour de France, in comments shared by the official Twitter account of the French team. I hope I can help the team on this difficult track. If Thibaut Pinot refuses to wear the stripes of leader of the Groupama-FDJ team, this charge will fall to David Gaudu, who will also be able to count on Valentin Madouas, Rudy Molard or even Sébastien Reichenbach.
A few words two days before the Tour des Alpes-Maritimes and the Var 📣 pic.twitter.com/T4rBxM9z6a
– Groupama-FDJ Cycling Team (@GroupamaFDJ) February 17, 2021
Gaudu: “I have good feelings”
Already bombarded as the leader of his team on the next Grande Boucle, the Breton is confidently approaching this first meeting of the season. “It is a pleasure to return to competition, which is also on French soil, assures the winner of two stages on the last Vuelta. It’s a difficult race but one that I like a lot, especially since they predict three sunny days. I worked well this winter, I have good feelings after the courses. “If he recognizes that” the plateau is raised “, the native of Landivisiau ensures to have” a solid group, adapted to the profile of the event “.
“We are not lacking in ambitions in this type of competition, the important thing being to find the rhythm right away and to give ourselves the means to find a stage”, adds David Gaudu who confides to have checked the second stage of the event, marked by two climbs of the Mur de Fayence in the final. Present on the Tour du Haut-Var as sports director, Thierry Bricaud confirms that “it is a recovery without personal sporting ambition” for Thibaut Pinot but, conceding that this race is “the return to the whole group”, the manager concedes that ‘it is “therefore difficult to know where our group of climbers is in terms of performance”. These three days in the Haut-Var will provide some answers.