A 'heartbroken' Thibaut Pinot will not go to the Giro d'Italia as he would 'unnecessarily suffer' as a result of a back injury.
The Groupama-FDJ rider endured persistent pain at the Tour of the Alps this week and said he would simply not be able to help his teammates at the Giro.
He explained that he feels good at the start of the day but 'as the kilometres go by, the pain increases' until it eventually becomes unbearable.
In an emotive statement, the 30-year-old, said: “I can’t hide from myself: I’m not in the medical condition to shine in the Giro.
"I would unnecessarily suffer and I would not be able to help the team.
"It’s not even a question of shape, but the pain in my back prevents me from performing well. It’s hard to explain.
"At the beginning of a stage it works, I even managed to get into the breakaway on the last day of this Tour of the Alps.
"Unfortunately, the more the kilometres go by, the more the pain increases and at some point, I am too sore to force myself."
Thibaut Pinot ne participera pas au Giro.
— Équipe Cycliste Groupama-FDJ (@GroupamaFDJ) April 24, 2021
Pinot, who completed the Tour of the Alps this week, said the race had been a gruelling ordeal.
He finished 60th overall on Friday, over 25 minutes down on winner Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange).
He continued: "Tuesday was a very bad day for me. It was mentally hard, I didn’t expect to be so far in the classifications.
"Giving up crossed my mind but I am a competitor, I wanted to go to the end of the test, I needed to, in order not to have any regrets.
"Every day I gave everything.
"Not racing in the Giro d’Italia is heartbreaking, we did everything to be there.
"We really did our utmost so that I could ride at my best. I’m disappointed but I’m focused on the next step.
"I am only thinking about healing myself, leaving these back problems behind me, competing at my usual level and fighting with the best.”
Team Physician Jacky Maillot, said: “In recent weeks, we have seen a gradual improvement in Thibaut’s training.
"We knew that the Tour of the Alps would give us some answers. Unfortunately, the conclusions are clear: his sacroiliac inflammation, following his crash in the last Tour de France, still prevents him from riding at very high intensity despite all the treatments he received.
"Further investigations with new specialists in this field are scheduled for next week.”
Meanwhile, directeur sportif, Marc Madiot, said the Frenchman's body 'would not allow him to compete with the best for three weeks'.
He added: “We did everything we could so Thibaut Pinot could come back to his actual level.
"We are disappointed but we can’t regret, neither him nor us, that we wanted to believe.
"He fought until the end on this Tour of the Alps but his body will not allow him to compete with the best for three weeks.
"Thibaut is going through something, we will of course give him the necessary time to come back."