French climb specialist Thibaut Pinot has pulled out of the Vuelta a Espana after inflaming a sore back he picked up during the Tour de France, his Groupama-FDJ team said on Thursday
Hugely popular in France the charismatic and emotional 30-year-old is often a Tour contender due to his ability to produce a huge performance on the very tough mountainous stages.
But Pinot's 2020 season was thrown into turmoil on the opening stage of the Tour in August when he slipped in a deluge and a fellow rider crashed into his back on Nice's Promenade des Anglais.
"After a respite from the back pain that had handicapped Thibaut following his fall in Nice, it has again greatly hampered him during the first and second stages of the Vuelta," his team said.
The Vuelta began on Tuesday and after two hilly stages Pinot trailed in 63rd place over 25 minutes behind overall race leader Primoz Roglic.
Pinot will now rest his back in preparation for the 2021 season.