This could be my last Tour de France, says Belgian star De Gendt

Veteran Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt has hinted that this year’s Tour de France could be his last.

The Lotto-Soudal star, renowned for his ability in breakaways, is contesting his ninth Le Tour in 2021 but told Belgian media that it was most likely his last.

"I don't have much to look for here, someone else can do it in my place next year," said De Gendt to Belgian broadcaster Sporza.

"This was the last ascent in this Tour and perhaps my last mountain ever in the Tour. There is a very good chance that this was my last Tour, but Luz Ardiden is a nice climb to finish with.

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"Next year someone else can try it in the Tour in my place. I haven't been able to show anything this year, and not last year either. I have very little to do here for myself, only as a helper. Then I better focus on another program."

It could also be his final major race for the season as De Gendt has ruled out competing in the Vuelta a Espana while he also doesn’t have hopes for this year’s World Championships.

The 34-year-old said he hopes to take a new approach to racing next season.

“I can't recover like other years. Two years ago I did all three grand tours one after the other, and then I started again almost without rest in the Tour Down Under,” De Gendt said.

“During the lockdown, I actually had no rest, and then I rode two grand tours in two months, the Tour and the Giro. That destroyed my engine.

"It may not be bad to get off the bike for a few months and only start again in, for example, Paris-Nice. Most likely, I will only ride the Tour of Norway this year and a few Belgian one-day races, if they are one rider short."


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2 min read
Published 18 July 2021 at 1:15am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS