Cyrille Guimard impressed by Thibaut Pinot's Giro d'Italia "but he's not a real winner"

A fifth-placed overall finish a King of the Mountains jersey win ensured that the final Giro d'Italia of Thibaut Pinot's career was a success and although Cyrille Guimard was impressed by the fight shown by his fellow Frenchman, Guimard believes Pinot's lack of a stage win was a missed opportunity.

"It's a very good Giro. But was the adversity at the level you would expect on a Grand Tour? I'm not sure. Depending on the race circumstances, I think Thibaut did very well, even if he made a few mistakes which deprived him of a stage victory," Guimard recaps in his post-Giro d'Italia column for Cyclism'Actu. "I think his big problem is that we don't see him as a real winner."

Twice, Pinot came close to victory on stage 13 and stage 18, being outdone on both occasions by his own desperation as much as another rider being stronger than him. "He is at a level that no longer allows him to be the best in a group of 20-25 breakaways," Guimard says. "On the other hand, on the final time trial, we saw him in combat, we have rarely seen him like that in his career. But he's not a real winner, real winners go further than that, they don't accept defeat."

The question now is whether Pinot will be allowed a Tour de France swansong. Guimard isn't too sure. "I don't have the answer and I can't have it, because I'm not at the very heart of the team," he explains. "The other problem is that Gaudu starts in a leading position, so do we play Gaudu or do we play Pinot? Pinot will never be a teammate, he does not have the fiber to be able to do so. And if, in addition, you add Arnaud Démare, what do you have left as a team member?"

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