Thomas De Gendt: "I am pleased that the Giro will be my main goal of the season again.”
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thomas De Gendt: "I am pleased that the Giro will be my main goal of the season again.”

by Ben Atkins at 5:40 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Belgian under no illusions as to his team standing after an underwhelming 2013

thomas de gendtThomas De Gendt will be targeting the Giro d’Italia in his first season with Omega Pharma-Quick Step next year, as he joins the Belgian team after the demise of Vacansoleil-DCM. The 27-year-old Flandrien finished third in the 2012 edition of the Corsa Rosa, and led his team at the Tour de France this year, but slumped to 96th place overall after suffering in the early stages and flopping in the mountains. He was then thrown out of the Vuelta a España for spending too long holding onto his team car.

At the end of 2012 De Gendt would likely have been in great demand, were he not contracted to Vacansoleil-DCM for the next year, but was forced to take a reported 80% pay cut after a disastrous season this year.

"In theory you won’t see me at the Tour de France,” De Gendt told Het Nieuwsblad. “There is no place for me in the Tour squad. It is logical that the focus will be on Mark Cavendish at the Tour next year as it starts at his home in England. He gets his train there anyway. Then you have some men like Tony Martin in the Tour to do their thing. The Tour is not really something for me at the moment.”

Instead of the Tour, De Gendt will head to the Giro again, where he took the stage to the Passo dello Stelvio in 2012, lifting himself onto the podium. With Omega Pharma-Quick Step also having signed Colombian Rigoberto Urán, however, he doesn’t expect to go there as the team’s protected rider.

"I am pleased that the Giro will be my main goal of the season again,” De Gendt said. “Coincidentally, last year I was going to explore the stage over the Gavia and Stelvio with my friend Willem Wauters, but that was cancelled due to bad weather. That might come in handy for the stage finish in Val Martello. I looked at the course schedule at the race presentation not long ago.

"I won’t go there as the leader of Omega Pharma-Quick Step. It will be a domestique role, I will be a kind of right hand to the leader. After last season I have no right to demand anything. Nowhere. I haven’t said I want to go to Paris-Nice. As I prepare myself for Italy in other races. I assume that there will be more time to the business of getting points at the first training camp in December.”


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