Thibaut Pinot and his goats have a casualwear range
Thibaut Pinot – the tragic hero of every French July since about 2014 – is known for many things. A Byronic charisma. A smouldering intensity. Very bad luck as a bicyclist.
But of all the things about Pinot, one of the most surprising – and charming – is his collection of goats.
Let’s back up to March 2020, when the Kim.Goat Instagram page burst into life.
There, Thibaut and his girlfriend, Charlotte Patat, catalogue a series of snapshots of their goats and their bucolic existence on the couple’s farm in Mélisey. “At the start of confinement, I went with my girlfriend to buy goat cheese,” Pinot told a curious interviewer last June. “I came back with two kids that we had to bottle feed. I had time.” [I trust you can imagine the Gallic shrug, the insouciant pout, as he said that last line, because there’s no way it didn’t happen.]
The two young goats, Kim and Quentine, are the stars of the show, but there are occasional cameos from no fewer than four (4) donkeys, some chickens – one of which is a Sussex hen called Chanel – and some cows.
Intriguingly, CyclingTips has in its possession multiple photographs of Pinot cosying up to yet more goats, as far back as 2017 – three full years before Kim and Quentine arrived on the scene – although it is not known whether the goats pictured above remain on the Pinot farm.
Pinot’s love of the happy-hooved creatures was made even more public in 2018, in the lead-up to the Road World Championships, when he created a 208 km-long piece of Strava artwork in the shape of a goat.
Anyway. Everyone on the farm appears to be having the best time, all the time, and every wholesome post on the Instagram page sends a small but detectable spark of joy out into this troubled world.
As word got out about Thibaut’s menagerie, the page quickly took on a life of its own. There are now 16,000 followers of the Instagram account, and Thibaut has roped in his Groupama-FDJ teammates for farm visits, which, obviously, j’adore.
Pinot tumbled out of contention in his major 2020 season goal, the Tour de France, getting caught up in a massive crash on stage 1 and losing 25 minutes on the first mountain stage.
The known goat-fancier battled through to finish the race in 29th overall – some way off his career-best third place, but better than the devastating 2019 result that plunged France into national mourning and inspired the dirge-y folk song ‘Tibopino’ by Jaune Mayo (two followers, 15 monthly listeners, but let’s blow it up for the boys).
Pinot’s off-season was gainfully spent securing a casualwear merchandising deal with French apparel manufacturer, ref. Happily, Thibaut’s goats make an appearance on a selection of fashionable sweatshirts, hoodies, T-shirts and even baby onesies.
I am certainly not immune to Thibaut’s charms, so the fact that I can now buy a range of goat-repping Team Thibaut gear – if I want to, which I absolutely do – makes me disproportionately pleased.
And if a €29 ethically-sourced and ecologically-sound T-shirt with a Thibaut Pinot goat on it isn’t your jam? I enthusiastically endorse giving Kim.Goat a follow anyway. It’s the least you can do after a year of the internet’s most wholesome bicycle-adjacent barnyard content, and a decade of plucky, doomed sporting performances.