Thibaut Pinot has a new cow

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The offseason works in a mysterious way. Some cyclists get lost in excess beer and bacchanalia. Others swim with dolphins. Entire teams disappear on the Formula 1 tracks of the Middle East to drive fast cars in circles.

Thibaut Pinot, the second biggest crush in French cycling, is not concerned about these fleeting sensations. Thibaut Pinot and his partner Charlotte Patat bought a new cow.

I say “a new cow”, but that doesn’t do her justice, really. First, because it is an inaccurate statement – Pinot and Patat bought of them new cows (one brown, one cream). Second, because “cow” doesn’t really conjure up the magnificence of what we see here.

Observe the brown. He is short and has large, watery eyes. It is the sweetest, sweetest creature that nature can conjure up. He has a sweet and curious muzzle, a bold hairstyle, and a certain fire burning in his eyes.

Now let’s go to the cream. It’s like brunette, but it’s cream, and he doesn’t have a ponytail growing across his forehead. Because of this, it’s the lesser of the two cows, but it can be fixed with a scrunchie.

Thibaut Pinot’s two cows do not exist in a vacuum. The cow’s internet debut is through the Instagram account of one of Pinot’s goats, Kim. He has at least one more goat – Quentine – as well as at least four (4) donkeys, a sheep, several chickens – including a Sussex hen called Chanel – and even more cows.

The healthy, rustic existence of Pinot has not gone unnoticed by the world. Since at least 2017 he has been the most renowned pet owner in modern cycling. Heck, his goats even have merch.

But the Frenchman’s hold on the throne of “best pet owner” is increasingly under attack from younger and hungrier rivals.

Filippo Ganna’s rise to the top of professional cycling brought his excellent sheepdog, Mia, who made an appearance at the 2021 Giro d’Italia with pink ribbons and was frankly the best thing that happened the entire race.

Egan Bernal, winner of the same race, went in a few years from a naive winner of the Tour de France of 22 years to an old soul. In a post-Giro press conference, he nostalgically detailed how he “mainly thinks[s] about a life at home with my animals: my three dogs, a cow and the chickens. With my girlfriend and my family. I really don’t need that much to be happy. Happiness is in the little things, certainly not in the material things.

No later than yesterday Bernal carried very little gear and trained a German Shepherd, and he certainly looked happy, so I believe him.

It doesn’t stop there. The Belgian phenomenon Mauri Vansevenant has a few lambs. Will Clark has 15,000. Wout van Aert has two goats, Albi and Lila. Yves Lampaert has a Deere.

By our calculations, Pinot’s new cows have restored his position as the premier pet owner of professional cycling, but if Bernal, Ganna et al have shown us anything, it is that ‘a capricious game. Benoit Cosnefroy could ride with a llama tomorrow and so where would we be?

Until then, we hope that Thibaut Pinot and his new cows will have a happy and healthy future. They are, collectively and individually, very good indeed.



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