May 19, 2023 at 8:46 PM Update: 3 hours ago
Thibaut Pinot does not understand Jefferson Cepeda’s race behavior in the thirteenth stage of the Giro d’Italia. The Frenchman became angry with the Ecuadorian several times during the shortened mountain stage, because he refused to lead.
“I just asked him to take over,” said 32-year-old Pinot, who will end his career after this season, at Eurosport. “I don’t understand how you can hope to win like that. I wouldn’t want to win like that.”
Pinot and Cepeda were both part of an early breakaway group. The two clashed several times along the way. The EF Education-EasyPost climber refused to lead both in the valley and on the final climb, which made the Frenchman increasingly angry.
“Maybe he received instructions from the team leader’s car. But if his excuse is that Hugh Carthy (the leader of EF Education, ed.) Was driving behind him, I can’t understand it.”
Thibaut Pinot had to settle for second behind Einer Rubio. Photo: Getty Images
‘Have ridden the whole climb on rage’
On the final climb, Pinot attacked several times and also tried to get away from Cepeda, but they didn’t give each other an inch. The Colombian Einer Rubio was the smiling third and took the stage victory.
Pinot had to settle for second place, but regained the lead in the mountain classification. “I especially wanted Cepeda not to win. Then I would rather Rubio took the stage victory. I would have given everything not to let Cepeda win.”
In the general classification, Pinot moved up to tenth place, but he was not concerned with that along the way. “I hope they (his fellow refugees, ed.) At least thank me for continuing,” the Groupama-FDJ leader sneered at Cepeda and also Rubio, who, according to him, also “benefited”.
“I told my sports director I didn’t care about the classification: ‘I want the stage, leave me alone.’ I’m disappointed because this was a great opportunity. I rode the whole climb on fury.”