Thibaut Pinot has a short memory. That’s often a handy psychological characteristic for a professional athlete who must quickly put a bad performance out of his mind in order to bring a positive focus to the next event.
However, a well-functioning memory also prevents athletes from making the same mistake over and over again. That’s the case today as the FDJ climber announced his plans to tackle both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
While Pinot put in an excellent performance in Italy last season, finishing fourth and grabbing a stage win in his first crack at the Giro, his subsequent result in the Tour was terrible. He abandoned the race in the final week due to illness and fatigue.
Like Team Sky’s Chris Froome, Pinot seems to be banking on the extra week of rest between the end of the Giro and start of the Tour. One extra week sure doesn’t seem like much — would that have helped Alberto Contador or Nairo Quintana in their Giro-Tour double attempts? Seems doubtful to us. Pinot’s got only 41 days to get his legs and his focus back.
Thibaut’s highly experienced team manager Marc Madiot also seems to be experiencing a touch of sports Alzheimers. Like Quintana’s Movistar boss last season, he seems to think his star rider will be just fine doing the Giro and Le Grand Shindig.
“Thibaut will go to the Giro d’Italia to do well and then he will go on to the Tour de France in good shape,” said Madiot. “We think his participation in the Giro will set him nicely for the Tour.”
Set him up for failure, more likely. There’s nothing worse for a Frenchman than to go to his home grand tour with all the extra pressure and expectations and not be at your best. Oh well, we’ll just watch him learn his lesson one more time and then hope the 2019 Tour de France earns his undivided attention.