Pinot extends with Groupama-FDJ, will lead team at Vuelta

Pinot will lead Groupama-FDJ at the Vuelta, and he'll ride on with the team into 2019 and 2020.

Photo: Getty Images

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Groupama-FDJ confirmed this week that Thibaut Pinot will lead the squad at the 2018 Vuelta a España — and he’ll continue on with the team into the next two seasons as well. The Frenchman announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he had renewed his contract with Marc Madiot’s team, where he has has spent his entire pro career.

“Happy to announce that 2019 and 2020 will be my 10th and 11th in Groupama-FDJ colors,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Pinot, 28, has ridden through a few up-and-down seasons since first emerging as one of the most promising young talents in the peloton early in his career.

He snagged a stage win at the Tour de France in 2012 and finished on the overall podium in 2014 in what was already his third grand tour top 10 performance. Since then, however, he has not reached the same heights. He won a Tour stage in 2015 and finished fourth at last year’s Giro d’Italia, but has registered DNFs in four of his last six three-week appearances, including this year’s Giro.

The Vuelta a España will be an opportunity for Pinot to bounce back after his frustrating Italian campaign this spring. He will at least make the start with some confidence after a podium performance at the recent Tour de Pologne.

Pinot will have five fellow Frenchmen around him at the Vuelta in the form of Rudy Molard, Léo Vincent, Benjamin Thomas, Marc Sarreau, and Mickaël Delage. Canadian national champion Antoine Duchesne and Germany’s Georg Preidler complete the Groupama-FDJ lineup for the race.

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