Paris - French
climb specialist Thibaut Pinot will make the Giro d'Italia his number
one priority for the 2017 season, the FDJ cyclist said on Tuesday.
Pinot, 26, third in the 2014 Tour de France, will be one of the favourites to clinch an overall victory in Italy in May.
"The stages on the Giro suit me better than on the Tour de France,
but the pressure will be just the same," said Pinot, who climbed to a
rousing hero's reception at the Alpe de Huez mountain stage on the 2015
"For the Tour de France we'll see how I am after the Giro, I may target the polka dot (King of the Mountains) jersey," he added.
Known essentially as a dogged climber the FDJ team leader has honed
his time trialling in recent seasons but is a nervy descender, and next
year's Tour de France is heavy on downhill finishes.
Pinot's team chief Marc Madiot felt the time was ripe for his protégé
to take part in his first Giro after five Tour de France appearances.
"It's a bit like playing an away game at football," said Madiot.
"But it really looks like the right year for him to go to the Giro."
The 100th edition of the Giro embarks from Sardinia on May 5 and features more of a pure climber's route.