Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) had only raced for nine days before starting the Tour of the Alps but showed he is on form as his double assault on the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France nears, finishing second on stage 2‘s mountain finish at Alpe di Pampeago behind Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana).
Pinot dug deep on the steep final kilometres to the ski resort. He made one attack after Chris Froome (Team Sky) tried an acceleration but when he realised that it was impossible to get away into the headwind, he focused on being well placed for the sprint to the line.
Lopez had the extra speed to kick ahead and win the stage but Pinot was able to beat new race leader Ivan Sosa (Androni Giocattoli) and distance Froome, finishing four seconds ahead of the Briton. He also gained a six-second time bonus for second place and so is now second overall, six seconds down on the young Colombian and ten seconds the better of Froome.
Pinot crossed the finish line with his tongue out and his jersey open. After being pushed up the steep road by his Groupama-FDJ soigneur, he stopped and emptied a bottle of fluids.
“It was a small group sprint so I thought I had a good chance,” Pinot said, trying to hide his disappointment.
“But it was very tactical because there was a headwind in the final kilometre, so you couldn’t go from too far out, and you couldn’t afford to make too many efforts. I was looking for the stage win because it’s always important to win, but I was beaten in the sprint.”
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