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"I'm very happy to win again, to end two and a half years of drought. I had lost almost the habit. I won against the best in the world and this gives me moral for the Tour de France and I can now prepare with serenity."

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade

GROUPAMA-FDJ

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THIBAUT PINOT

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TOUR DE ROMANDIE

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03.05.2015 @ 10:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) benefited from the tactical battle between Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali to win the queen stage of the Tour de Romandie, launching a well-timed attack with 5km to go and taking a solo victory ahead of Zakarin and Bardet.

 

The French climber, third in the 2014 Tour de France, was very pleased after the stage."I'm very happy to win again, to end two and a half years of drought (since August 11, 2012 when he won a stage of the Tour l'Ain, ed.). I had lost almost the habit. I won against the best in the world and this gives me moral for the Tour de France and I can now prepare with serenity. But from the technical point of view, it does not mean too much, in the sense that there are still more than two months until the start of the Tour," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport and L'Equipe.

 

"Quintana was strong, also Froome, Nibali a little less, but I was the same as last year at this time and then  he was unbeatable in the Tour two months later. A stage like today's may not give too much guidance for the month of July, but winning here is a bonus," he added.

 

His triumph was no fluke as he knew the last climb. "I has waited this mountain stage. Other years in Romandie, I often felt frustrated because it is a very mountainous region but there was no summit finish. I came here last week with my brother Julien to inspect the course, the last 80 kilometers. It is a WorldTour race, with a very high level. I could take advantage of the fight among the favorites," he said.

 

In the GC, he is six seconds behind Zakarin and Froome is only eight seconds behind. "Let's see, I'll do my best. I also looked at the final stage last week. It is not easy, it is really demanding and difficult. There is no secret, but behind me there are some specialists and it will be complicated. First I must recover," he told L'Equipe .

 

In 2015 Pinot was 13th in Bessèges, 35th in Oman, 4th in Tirreno-Adriatico, 2nd in Criterium International and 10th in Bthe asque Country. After Romandie, "I'm going to rest a little and then, in ten days, I will recon the cobbled stage and the finish in Huy. Then I will look at the Alps and the Pyrenees. I will do either the Dauphiné or the Tour of Switzerland. And finally, the Tour de France. "

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