After three years, Thibaut Pinot got to taste victory, and that too at the Tour of Alps. It was him and David de la Cruz in the daring finale and the Frenchman outsprinted David with extreme tactics and thrilling performance. Stage 5 of the Tour of the Alps was a wholesome celebration of French cycling-two major things happened.
Pinot won stage 5 and Romain Bardet (DSM) got rid of Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) in the final climb of Stronach to claim overall victory.
It almost felt like there were two races in one event, the thrilling finale between Pinot and De la Cruz certainly felt like one big event. The other race which felt standalone was between Bardet and Bilbao.
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While Pinot made the best of the current situation, Bardet was under a lot of pressure from Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers). His rapid pace on the slopes of Stronach disturbed Bardet, but in time Bardet was able to take the charge in the mid of the climb.
This is the first time Bardet won a single classification of a race, the last time was when he won Tour de l’Ain almost nine years ago.
During the heat of the battle, it almost felt like Pinot was in for another heartbreak at the hands of David de la Cruz but in the last 200 meters, he summoned great strength and resolve to push back the Astana rider and claim his well-deserved victory.
Filled with immense joy, Pinot stated:
It’s a big relief for me to win. The Tour of the Alps is my favourite race and winning here is great for me. I had just one thought in my head today: to win. I knew that the break had a chance of going all the way to the finish, and it was tough course, very cold, conditions I liked.
The hilly finale of the Tour of Alps was anything but easy, it started and finished in Lienz. The exact place where Michele Bartoli won the 1994 version of Giro d’Italia.
Featured Image Via YouTube/Cycling Pro Net