Thibaut Pinot will return to the bike tracks after an injury that has prevented him from performing since February. Pinot has been struggling with injury for a long time, and things seem to be fine for now "I’m eager to pin a race number on again," he said in an interview with L'Equipe.
"The legs are pretty good, I think. Based on the quality of my training and the numbers I’m producing, I feel that things are going well." "Up to mid-June it was very hard because I saw no improvement.
I told myself the goal would be to go again in 2022. I’d put a cross through this season," he said. Long climbs were his greatest fear "For me, the fear since the start were the long climbs. In April I’d even have to stop for pauses on a 10km climb to relieve my back.
In Tignes, I managed to put together hour-long climbs, several times a day, so I understood things were getting better," he said. "In terms of intensity, I wanted to test myself and reassure myself that things were indeed going better, and I did race-pace intensity numbers that I’d not managed to push for nearly 10 months."
Pinot admitted that he made a mistake because he wanted to return too soon, which worsened his condition "There wasn’t one miracle solution," he said. "I’ve done so many things and seen so many people, each of whom has brought a brick to the building, and that’s what has resolved the problem.
I gained one per cent each day - not big strides from one day to the next. "In the past, I wanted to save face. I’d try to simply get to five hours of riding without having any problems. I didn’t do any efforts or sprints, I’d avoid certain roads, and I’d protect the back as much as possible."
"Now I don’t worry about that. Last week I did my best time on the Ballon d’Alsace since I’ve been pro. Since mid-July I’ve enjoyed almost every training ride." It seems that Pinot wants to show how strong a cyclist he is and he looks more motivated than ever "I’ve missed fighting for victory, and knowing why you train so hard.
I’ve always said I do this sport to win races, so training for months for nothing was frustrating," he said. "I want to show I’m still here, because people have talked a lot since last year, saying I’m on holiday, enjoying life, having barbecues, that I don’t have the right mentality - loads of stupid things like that." "I still have some pride, a bit of ego, and I want to show who I am."