VUELTA 2022 – Frustrated but reassured, Pacher and Pinot carry the Groupama-FDJ

VUELTA 2022 - Frustrated but reassured, Pacher and Pinot carry the Groupama-FDJ
“It’s frustrating…” Words perfectly define the state of mind of Quentin Pacher, 2nd of the 17th stage of the Tour of Spain between Aracena and Monasterio de Tentudia. The Groupama-FDJ rider actually came very close, on Wednesday, to a first tricolor success on this Tour of Spain 2022. But he lacked a little power for the Frenchman to resist the final attack of veteran Rigoberto Uran, winner of the day. Far behind, his teammate Thibaut Pinot reassured him of his state of form, finishing with the Vuelta favorites.

Serene Evenepoel, frustrated Pacher and relieved Uran: the highlights of the 17th stage

“The final climb was really a big battle, with lots of acceleration, lots of changes of pace. I held on like never before and, at 200m, when I see that victory is just ahead, I still believe in it. little bit. I make my effort late to try to come back and I come to die in the wheel of Uran. It’s frustrating because I had great legs, I really believed in it and it doesn’t go away”, explained Quentin Pacher.

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The effort was not the easiest. After 150km of racing, the climb to the Monastery of Tentudia (category 2) promised a two-part climb with a final cut for the punchers. “It’s the kind of effort, after a bump of 10 terminals, where, if you start too early, you sit down and you can’t start again. So you have to know how to have the right timing. I don’t was not far but there was a guy who was stronger than me today, that’s all”, noted with spite in his voice the runner from Groupama-FDJ.

Pacher was too short, Uran wins: relive the finish of the 17th stage

Despite everything, Pacher relativizes: “I think I played a little bit my best today but the legs are there, it’s probably my best performance on a grand tour, and that’s already it.” At Groupama-FDJ, there will certainly be a feeling of almost accomplishment, but there are still a few opportunities to end this Vuelta with satisfaction.

It reassures me, I know that I’m not too bad

Because if the French formation did not come to Spain to dispute the general classification, Thibaut Pinot being the best classified with more than 44 minutes of the red jersey, it aims on the other hand for victories of stages. For this, the first step to climb is to integrate a breakaway, before being able to engage in the final fight for success.

And if Thibaut Pinot did not manage to play at the front this Wednesday, he showed that the legs were there, finishing the final ascent with the group of favorites, just 4 seconds behind the Remco Evenepoel red jersey and at the same time as Jay Hindley, for example. All this after resisting attacks from Enric Mas and Juan Ayuso, sorry.

Pinot: “I’m missing a little something, a little success”

It reassures me, I know I’m not too bad. I lack a little success to take the breakaways, he analyzed. When you have the objective of taking the breakaways, it’s complicated to finish with the favorites so you have to make choices. Today, I had cartridges for the start and I had a little left to finish with the best. It proves that I’m not too bad, I lack a little success, a little know-how too perhaps.”

“He wanted to reassure himself, he didn’t manage to take the breakaway so he wanted to show that at least he had the legs. But what he wants is to take a breakaway before the end and see what he demonstrated today (Wednesday), he has the legs”, added our consultant David Moncoutié, followed by his colleague Jacky Durand.

The former Ronde winner insisted “pleasure” that Pinot could have taken to battle with the favorites. “Hasn’t he overdone it?” he simply wondered. The French will have the answer in the coming days, when it will absolutely be necessary to integrate a group at the front. “We have a lot of places of honor, we are still missing this victory. We will try to get it”, he assured. All the conditions seem to be in place for Thibaut Pinot to be able to compete with his breakaway companions, and finally bring back a French victory.

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