The circle is round. With these code words, Thomas de Gendt (probably) put an end to the cycling story of the Tour de France. 9 participations in the tour, 2 beautiful victories on the stage and several kilometers in the attack. An overview of its highlights at La Grande Boucle.
2011: 1st on the podium after an amazing finale weekend أسبوع
Thomas de Gendt made his tour debut in a Cansole costume. However, his debut in France does not go as desired: after a fall in the first week, he has a broken collarbone, and he also suffers from groin inflammation.
But boss character De Gendt shows his fighting spirit for the first time in a stunning finale weekend. On stage nineteen towards Alpes d’Huez, he crossed the line in sixth with Cadel Evans and the Schleck brothers. In the last test in Grenoble, he was faster than world champion Cancellara. That fourth place was converted into his first place on the podium after Alberto Contador was eliminated.
2013: On the stage of Mont Saint-Michel
De Gendt is skipping the 2012 tour because he’s getting married. A year later, he was not lost in the Grand Départ. On the eleventh stage, he can once again show his test legs: at Mont-Saint-Michel, he just has to put up with time-tested world champion Tony Martin and later overall winner Chris Froome.
2016: De Gendt in lamps, Van Avermaet in yellow
Le Lioran at Massif Central has a place in collective memory, especially thanks to Greg Van Avermaet. On Col du Perthus, he left his companion Thomas De Gendt behind and rushed into the yellow jersey. But De Gendt was not left empty-handed: he defeated the polka-dot shirt and received the Fighting Spirit Award.
2016: Victory Parade in Mont Ventoux
On Mont Ventoux, De Gendt wrote one of his most beautiful chapters in the story of his tour. In the legendary Kale Berg in Provence, he plunged fellow countryman Serge Bowles into mourning and ascended to perhaps the most famous victory of his career. Reclaiming the polka jersey is an added bonus point for the first Belgian Ventoux winner since Eddie Merckx.
2017: 1200 km on the raid
Thomas Degendt? In 2017, peloton seemed surprised when they heard this name. The racing striker can always be found in the leading group. He will fight for a minimum distance of 1280 kilometers in the round, spread over 11 stages.
His tireless efforts yield no more than fifth place. He didn’t even get the Super Fighting Award, it goes to Warren Bargill. Lance Armstrong also couldn’t believe his ears: “There is only one person who deserved the award,” he said.
At Vive le Vélo, he called De Gendt to vote for him
Lance Armstrong defended De Gendt
2019: an unlikely number in Saint-Étienne
In 2019, De Gendt will once again live up to its name as the King of Escape. In Saint-Étienne, he gave an unexpected number, which is good for his second stage win on the Tour. “My best win ever,” he says. Perhaps a Lifetime Strijdlust Award for De Gendt?
2021: “Cancellation of contract and time for something else?”
Thomas de Gendt, a 34-year-old man who has fought many wars, faces a harsh reality. “Yesterday (Stage 8, Editor) I pushed the escape values, only finished in 28 minutes. But I’m just as tired as after the flight.”
“This is a difficult outcome. Then I have to draw my conclusions and cancel my contract and then it’s time for something else. If it’s better, so be it.”
2011-2021: The Eternal Lullbrook
As a joke, you can always knock on Thomas de Gendt’s door during the tour. In a roundabout way, he always expressed his pure opinion about the course in front of the microphone or on Twitter. In 2020, for example, after a failed attack attempt, he sold a “set of legs with light signs of use” and this year withdrew his crystal ball to predict the future of the Tour.