"I wanted to finish early enough to still be young in real life" - Thibaut Pinot reflects on career highs and why it's the right time to call it quits

One of the biggest stars of modern French cycling, Thibaut Pinot's final race is now fast approaching. With his career coming to an end at Il Lombardia, Pinot has been reflecting on his career highs and why he feels it's the right time to move on from professional cycling.

"I didn't want to be the oldest on the team since I'm often the oldest in the squad," Pinot admits, explaining to Eurosport why his somewhat surprising decision to retire at the end of the season has been the right call. "Of course it's young, I'm only 33. In truth, I have a little fear of getting old so I wanted to finish early enough to still be young in real life."

As mentioned, the curtain will come down on Pinot's career at the upcoming Il Lombardia, a race where one of his biggest career wins came back in 2018. “My best memory will remain my victory in Lombardy. think it's my greatest victory, it's my Monument, it was also Jérémy Roy's last race and I won it for him," the Groupama - FDJ man recalls. "It's really my most beautiful victory, the most constructed victory, the one where I assume my status as leader, the status of favourite. What has always made me proud of this victory is beating Vincenzo Nibali at his home."

Pinot has been relatively quiet since the Tour de France, but this has all been part of his plan to bring a positive conclusion to his career. “I worked in August and September to be good at the races that I prefer, this Italian period,” continues Pinot. "I want to make the most of this Tour of Lombardy, I know that there will be a lot of people, it will put a little pressure on me too because I will be a little in the centre of attention and that's not what I like the most. So I hope that I'm still going to enjoy my race."

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