Thibaut Pinot will reportedly skip the Tour de France this year and instead target the Giro d’Italia.
Pinot has been the leading French contender at the Tour for several years but has failed to finish the race on three of his last four starts.
BFM and RMC Sport both report that instead of aiming for the Tour in 2021 he will go for success in the Giro, which he has previously ridden in 2017 and 2018.
Pinot’s team Groupama-FDJ are expected to confirm their plans during a presentation on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old looked as though he would be among the challengers at this year’s Tour, only for a crash on the opening stage to hamper his chances.
He then abandoned the Vuelta a Espana after three stages due to injury.
However, the route for the 2021 Giro appears to suit Pinot more than the Tour, which features two individual time trials and fewer mountain finishes than in recent years.
The Giro, which starts on May 8, is expected to be more mountainous.
Team Ineos leader Egan Bernal has also said the Giro is one of his top targets this year:
The Giro comes first in the calendar, and in my head, option number one is to be at the start.
"It would be special," he added.
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