WorldTeam Breakaway king De Gendt strikes at the Giro
Thomas De Gendt has added a new memorable victory to his palmares. In the eighth stage of the Giro, with start and finish in Naples, De Gendt, together with teammates Harm Vanhoucke and Sylvain Moniquet, were part of a breakaway of over twenty riders.
On a difficult local circuit around Monte Procida, the early breakaway was steadily thinned out and after a tactical game, five riders slipped away, including teammates De Gendt and Vanhoucke. The five riders never had much advantage on the first chasers and in the final kilometres, the duo Van der Poel - Girmay almost made it back. In the end it was Vanhoucke who started the sprint for De Gendt, who launched a powerful acceleration and took his second Giro stage win, ten years after his first on the Stelvio.
"Today I really had a great day and with three teammates in the breakaway we could play a bit" De Gendt said afterwards. “We played it out perfectly. Due to illness and bad luck, I wasn't able to perform the way I wanted the last few years and that's why this win feels maybe even more special than the one on the Stelvio."
"I even doubted whether I would come to the start of this Giro in good shape. But this victory proves that I'm back at it. This stage reminded me of the stage in Barcelona during the Volta a Catalunya. The succession of climbs where it is difficult to recover suits me well, so I rode a tight pace up all the time to not really give anyone a rest."
"I know I'm fast after a stage like this, felt still strong and gambled on the sprint. Harm played the team game perfectly in the final kilometres with Van der Poel and Girmay coming really close. At three hundred metres from the finish I gave it my all and that was enough to take the win," De Gendt concluded.
Image: Photo News.