Thibaut Pinot will end his career at the end of the 2023 season
Unexpectedly, Thibaut Pinot, one of the most important French cyclists of recent times, announced that he will say goodbye to cycling at the end of this season. At 33 years of age and after 13 seasons as a professional, one of the riders who has been closest to regaining the desired yellow jersey of the Tour de France for a French rider is leaving.
The generational changeover continues with Thibaut Pinot's retirement at the end of 2023
Yesterday afternoon without anyone expecting it, and after a 2022 season in which he had reinvented himself as a stage-hunting cyclist, achieving a partial victory in the Tour de Suisse and another in the Tour of the Alps, as well as being present and close to victory on many more occasions, Thibaut Pinot, one of the best French cyclists of recent times, announced through the newspaper L'Equipe and his social networks that he would end his career as a professional cyclist after this season.
"I'm ready for real life," headlined the front page of the French daily, which was accompanied by a video summary on the social networks of Thibaut Pinot himself in which he reviewed the best moments of his career under the slogan "2023, enjoy, give it all, so you won't regret anything."
It is strange, with the longevity shown by cyclists today, that at only 33 years of age, which Pinot will turn in May, he will end his career. However, this certifies the generational change that is occurring in cycling with the farewell of names that have been a reference in the last five years and that are giving way to the overwhelming batch of tremendously young riders who are taking the limelight in the races.
During his career, the French climber has been the depositary of French fans' hopes to see one of their own return to triumph in the Tour de France, a race that has eluded them since Bernard Hinault's victory in 1985.
A race in which he managed to take the third step of the podium in the 2014 edition, behind the also French Jean-Christophe Péraud, although none of them could keep up with the strength of Vincenzo Nibali, who saw his way to victory in that Tour with the withdrawals of Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.
More memorable and dramatic, however, was his participation in the 2019 Tour de France in which he was proving tremendously competitive, even managing to prevail against all the favorites in the queen stage of the Pyrenees that concluded at the top of the Tourmalet and was holding 5th just 1:50 behind the then leader Julian Alaphilippe when, a muscle injury forced him to abandon in tears at the start of the ascent to the Iseran in what would be the decisive stage of the race.
Despite everything, the Frenchman has managed to achieve, always in the ranks of Groupama-FDJ under the orders of Marc Madiot, a select record in which shine three stages in the Tour de France, two in La Vuelta a España, one in the Giro d'Italia and the conquest of Il Lombardia in 2018, adding up to 33 victories to date.
In this 2023 season, the last for Thibaut Pinot, the Groupama-FDJ rider has announced that his main objective will be the Giro d'Italia, although he also hopes to be part of the Tour de France and thus say a fitting farewell to his fans. In any case, he indicated that "it will be known that it is the last time" when asked which would be his last race.