De Gendt to lead Vacansoleil – DCM in Santos Tour Down Under
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Monday, November 26, 2012

De Gendt to lead Vacansoleil – DCM in Santos Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 5:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
2012 Giro d’Italia podium finisher to begin season in Australia, wants Tour de France stage win

Thomas de GendtSecond on a stage in 2011 and second in the King of the Mountains classification earlier this season, Thomas de Gendt will return to the Santos Tour Down Under for the third successive year in January, once again beginning his season in the prestigious Australian race.

The 26 year old Belgian had his best-ever year in 2012, taking a superb third overall in the Giro d’Italia and proving that he is far more than a long-distance breakaway rider. Having got married and taken a honeymoon, he’s currently working hard to get ready for the Australian race, which begins in Adelaide on January 20th.

“I feel like training again and one of my goals is to peak more and more,” he said. After 2012 I will have a challenge to be a leader in a mental way at certain moments during the season where others have to count on me.”

De Gendt has extended with the team until the end of 2015, that agreement reflecting its faith in him. He wants to ride his second Tour de France in the season ahead and has pinpointed a stage victory as his big target there.

Before then, though, he’ll try to pull off a decent result in Australia. “It will be the third year in a row for me to race over there and that shows that I like it,” he explained. “Like every year the condition is always a surprise in the first race but it should be good to kick-off the season with someone from the team in front.”

He will be joined by Tomasz Marczynski as one of Vacansoleil – DCM’s protected riders in Australia and, going on his past performances, could well be one of the big animators of the race.


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