Lotto Soudal: A dream come true for Thomas de Gendt, he will wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow pubblicato il 06/07/2016
Thomas De Gendt maglia a pois nella 5a tappa del Tour de France © ASO/A.Broadway


Lotto Soudal: A dream come true for Thomas de Gendt, he will wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow

The fifth stage in this Tour de France was the first one that contained a few heavy obstacles. The peloton had to cover six climbs, the hard part of this stage was situated in the final 35 kilometres. The speed was very high right from the beginning so the break wasn’t formed immediately. After about twenty kilometres a few riders were able to get away. Who else than Thomas De Gendt was part of the nine-man break. The escapees obtained a nice advantage as the peloton didn’t react on it. A few moments later, the front group was reduced to three riders. De Gendt, Van Avermaet and Grivko had gone clear, their lead was more than fifteen minutes at a certain moment. The chasing group of six riders remained in between the front group and the peloton for almost the whole day.

On the first of three tough climbs in the finale, Grivko was dropped in the front of the race. Just before that, Movistar decided to pull at the front of the peloton and therefore the lead shrunk very fast. A lot of riders were dropped at that moment. After that, Van Avermaet accelerated on the penultimate climb of the day. Unfortunately, De Gendt was unable to follow him. Van Avermaet won the stage after a solo of seventeen kilometres and is the new leader on GC. Thomas De Gendt finished second, his fantastic performance was rewarded with the prize of the most combative rider. De Gendt was very attentive during the day and he managed to win three KOM sprints. Therefore he’s the new leader in that classification so he may wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow. Naturally, Thomas is very happy with his performance.

Thomas De Gendt“It wasn’t clear yet whether I would join the break this morning because I thought it might be wiser to save some strengths for the final week. But it was obvious from the beginning that a few strong riders were willing to be part of the break so I decided to join them. We got a lot of advantage from the peloton because no one was a threat to the GC riders. Van Avermaet was the best placed rider at twenty seconds but the GC riders don’t expect that he will play a role in the mountain stages. The cooperation in the front group was gone after a while so we decided to continue the break with three riders. We weren’t sure whether Grivko would be good or not. Greg and I decided that he mustn’t win today’s stage because he didn’t do his part of the job. Eventually he was dropped on the fourth climb of the day. Van Avermaet accelerated on the penultimate climb and it was clear that he was stronger than me. I’m a bit disappointed of course but I realize that Greg was simply the best today. He really deserved this victory.”

“It was clear that the KOM sprints would be today's goal from the moment that I was part of the break. I was able to win three sprints and therefore I may wear the polka dot jersey tomorrow. Wearing that jersey is a big dream. I was never able to wear a jersey in a Grand Tour so I’m really happy. Obtaining the prize of the most combative rider and the polka dot jersey is a nice consolation prize. I’ll try to defend that jersey for at least one day, after that it will depend on how the Tour will evolve. Today’s stage will affect my condition as it was a very hard day. We rode more than 200 kilometres in the front of the race so I’ll need some time to recover. We’ll see if there are any other opportunities later in this Tour de France.


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