the day in the Vosges “was an extremely strong and intense moment” for his manager Marc Madiot

If the franc-comtois didn’t win the penultimate event of the Tour, he won the hearts of spectators who came to cheer before he retired.

The penultimate stage of the 2023 Tour de France between Belfort and Le Markstein saw the victory of Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. But this day in the Vosges, before arriving in Paris, was an opportunity for the Frenchman Thibaut Pinot to treat himself to a dream jubilee in the over-excited atmosphere of his region. The 33-year-old Franc-Comtois retires at the end of this edition of the Great Loop.

>> Tour de France 2023: Thibaut Pinot excites Groupama-FDJ one last time on the Grande Boucle

This day in the Vosges “it was an extremely strong and intense moment”, Marc Madiot, general manager of Groupama-FDJ, Thibaut Pinot’s team, confided to franceinfo on Saturday 22 July. He shares his “emotion” the fervor of the fans during a lived day “in pleasure”.

franceinfo: Did you expect this stage to be so emotionally demanding?

Marc Madot: It was an important moment in Thibaut’s career and also in the life of the team. Personally. So yeah, that’s a highlight. To be honest and frank, I think it would have been more in the days of the Giro di Lombardia than the Tour de France. In fact, the Tour is also an extremely important moment, so we brought the end of the season forward a bit.

How did you experience the fervor of the traveling crowd, these songs of fans recounting their love for Thibaut Pinot?

When you discover the road for kilometers and there are only signs for Thibaut Pinot and you hear his name or his name constantly, it’s disturbing, it causes emotions. There was the famous “Pinot bend” in the pass.

Thibaut Pinot has been a key figure in cycling for years. How many do you meet in a Thibaut Pinot career?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the first. But I had the chance to meet other very good riders during my time as sporting director. But it will remain a special place with Thibaut.

Since 2018 you have experienced ups and downs together. What remains of all this adventure tonight, especially at the Tour de France?

The thrills, the moments of joy. There were also moments of anguish, of difficulty. It is a whole and part of life, of sport. And I have no regrets.

What if there should be a moment of joy?

Maybe today. Because the day summed up what his career has been. We were no longer looking for the result, we were in pleasure.

Will not having won the Tour after being close to it, as happened a few years ago, remain one of Thibaut Pinot’s great regrets, and for you?

NO. One day I asked the famous question: Do you think about it while shaving in the morning? She replied no.

And neither do you?

Yes, I would have thought about it, but it’s not me pedaling.

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