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Thomas de Gendt Discussion Thread

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Re:

13 Jul 2019 22:44

hayneplane wrote:In that form he would be perfect tactically for Belgium to make it a hard race all day by forming a morning breakaway so strong that the other big nations have to commit riders to the front from a very early stage allowing the Belgian protected riders to surf wheels and hide in the peloton.

To hold the gap to a highly motivated peak form Alaphilippe who has been arguably the best in the world this year was a freakishly strong ride and one that deserves all the plaudits in the world.

You wonder if he could actually have got further grand tour podiums but I think he simply isn’t psychologically suited to trying to hold back and conserve energy until the last few days plus the fact he is practically allergic to riding within the peloton.


The question is, in a WC, will other nations let him ride? I'm inclined to say "no". De Gendt's thing is that in a GT he doesn't get tired as easily as days/weeks pass, compared to other riders. It looks like he gets stronger the further into the stages, but that's not the case. That's also why he isn't as succesful in 1 day races.

I'm also sure physically he could have been a good GC rider. When he finished 3rd in the Giro, he hadn't even prepared for GC. He was supposed to test the waters in the Giro, and then go for GC in the Vuelta. But it just turned out he really disliked riding like that. Too boring, too much wiggling for position in the front of the peloton etc. And, he's stubborn in his beliefs, defies science. He rides his ITT's without warming up. Regardless of scientific proof.
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14 Jul 2019 11:43

Nah, I don't think so.

As an general classification rider De Gendt probably would be like Voeckler & Boogerd with a better time trial, but slightly worse climbing. A guy that can finish 7th - 15th on the general classification. 3rd - 5th if everything wents perfect. As De Gendt seeks and creates opportunities just like the other two, in fact they have been 3rd - 5th at the Giro d'Italia & Tour de France respectively.

Afterwards all 3 went back to their speciality, as their mission regarding the general classification was accomplished.
Last edited by staubsauger on 14 Jul 2019 11:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

14 Jul 2019 11:44

staubsauger wrote:Nah, I don't think so.

As an general classification rider De Gendt probably would be like Voeckler & Boogerd with a better time trial, but slightly worse climbing. A guy that can finish 7th - 15th on the general classification. 3rd - 5th if everything wents perfect. As De Gendt seeks and creates opportunities just like the other two, in fact they have been 3rd - 5th at the Giro d'Italia & Tour de France respectively.

So they went to their speciality afterwards and archived more glory there. Although it took Boogerd a little longer than De Gendt & Voeckler of course.


lol, thanks for the laugh. De Gendt is like Voeckler with worse climbing. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Safe to say you don't know the first thing about De Gendt. De Gendt definitely has (/had) the raw potential. He just hated everything about it. The way you prepare for GC put him off without even ever having tried. Watching your weight, focussing on one or two goals per year. Like i said, when he finished 3rd in the Giro, he did this without even preparing for GC, since the goal was to try to do the Vuelta for GC that year. The Giro was to test the waters. He didn't even ride the Vuelta for GC, because after the Giro, he had enough of it. Of riding defensively in the front of the peloton.
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Re: Re:

14 Jul 2019 12:01

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:
staubsauger wrote:Nah, I don't think so.

As an general classification rider De Gendt probably would be like Voeckler & Boogerd with a better time trial, but slightly worse climbing. A guy that can finish 7th - 15th on the general classification. 3rd - 5th if everything wents perfect. As De Gendt seeks and creates opportunities just like the other two, in fact they have been 3rd - 5th at the Giro d'Italia & Tour de France respectively.

So they went to their speciality afterwards and archived more glory there. Although it took Boogerd a little longer than De Gendt & Voeckler of course.


lol, thanks for the laugh. De Gendt is like Voeckler with worse climbing. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Safe to say you don't know the first thing about De Gendt.

I meant Voecklers climbing at the 2011 Tour de France when he stayed with the favorites in most mountain stages to be honest. Something De Gendt didn't do that often at the 2012 Giro d'Italia!

There's a reason why he's got the best general classification result out of the 3 though: Because he dropped all the favorites during his magnificent day up to the Stelvio.

Anyway, without arguing about who's top climbing performance has been better (Yes, arguably it's De Gendt on the Stelvio. You're right!). What's wrong with the rest of my summary?

De Gendt, Voeckler & Boogerd are magnificent breakaway artists that all archived gc results above their level by both strong and tactically clever racing. Afterwards De Gendt became a superb stage hunter and won the polka dots jersey at the 2018 Vuelta a Espana. Voeckler won the polka dots jersey and 2 mountain stages in the Alps & Pyrenees at the 2012 Tour de France. Only Boogerd first tried to match his exceptional gc results, but more successfully went back to stage hunting as well later. Before eventually ending-up as a super-domestique for Rasmussen at the 2007 Tour de France!
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14 Jul 2019 13:05

I updated my post while you were responding. De Gendt rode one of the fastest climbs up Alpe D'Huez at the end of the Tour. No need to single out his Stelvio ride. Not only is he (by a f*ing mile) a better climber than Voeckler was, he has the ability to get better the longer a GT lasts. He doesn't actually get better, he just doesn't fade as fast as other riders. Quite interesting for GC riders. Can't compare him with Boogerd either, because Boogerd actually TRIED to be a GC rider and Boogerd also rode in a different era. Going from memory, De Gendt was very close to the top climbers in that Giro. He even finished one climb where he lost 20 or 30 seconds, on a flat tyre. At least he was close enough to get on the podium by taking a few minutes on Stelvio (IIRC he was 7th in GC before that ride). Most time he lost in any of the mountain stages, was 1m22s. And again, he hadn't prepared to ride the giro for GC to begin with.

As a breakaway artist, De Gendt is unmatched, because he masters the skill to "read" a race (you should listen to his race predictions, they are usually spot on), balancing his efforts, being able to raise the pace at a moment that chasers/peloton don't expect it and miscalculate. It's not just having the legs, it's being smart and having vision as well.

He's hated riding in peloton since he was a junior. He hates the boredom of preparing for a GC, of staying in the front, of having to conserve energy, having to watch wat you eat, not being allowed to follow your gut. He doesn't warm up before a timetrial (he doesn't "believe" it is better for him, regardless of proof or science), he likes to drink beer... That's why De Gendt couldn't be a GC rider. And to be clear, i'm not saying he would have won 5 Tours or whatever, but physical talent to become a GC rider, wasn't the issue.

EDIT: he was 8th in GC before the Stelvio. After Stelvio he was 4th, and he gained an extra spot in the ITT.
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14 Jul 2019 15:44

We're not that far apart in our opinion actually, are we? I certainly leveled Voeckler's 2011 climbing too high compared to De Gendt.

I truly believe De Gendt could ride as a general classification rider. It just wouldn't fully reward his capabilites as a rider and like you stated he isn't comfortable with it.

I don't think he could've topped his 3rd spot from the 2012 Giro d'Italia. Like Voeckler wouldn't have topped his 4th place from the 2011 Tour de France and Boogerd never matched his 5th spot from the 1998 Tour de France again. So I'm quite happy that instead of fighting for 6th till 12th spot on the general classification De Gendt has chosen to not only become Voecklers successor at the TdF, but outmatch him by being a great animator in every major stage race he enters!

The comparison was meant to be a compliment for 3 very strong stage hunters, who all succeeded in getting big gc results once in their career due to their strongness & smartness!
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14 Jul 2019 16:51

Considering the fact that he didn't really prepare the Giro to go for GC, i'm not sure if he wouldn't have been able to do better. But... he simply wasn't willing/able to "live the life" of a GC rider. So my argument is, that the reason why he never did, is not because he lacked the (physical) talent or tools. But that it was a mental/mindset issue. He was only 25 back then, so he had plenty of time to improve.
Difficult to predict what he might have been able to do in GC, but i think he's happy with the carreer he chose and the palmares he has. I just didn't agree with the comparison with Voeckler, who, for GC, always got his time "for free" (like in 2011). De Gendt didn't get time for free in 2012, it was a solo attack from far, and he was an immediate threat to places 1-7 ahead of him, with the ITT coming up. So you just can't compare.

Furthermore, Voeckler won his raids usually due to play-acting and letting others do the work for him in the breakaway. De Gendt always does most of the work in the break, and wins... because he's the strongest. Not because he tries to trick his companions.
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14 Jul 2019 18:13

The greater relevance is that De Gendt could win a hard ridden breakaway stage after being on front of the peleton for two or three stages to support Ewan - It's not like he was hiding in the back of the peleton.
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14 Jul 2019 19:12

Furthermore, Voeckler won his raids usually due to play-acting and letting others do the work for him in the breakaway. De Gendt always does most of the work in the break, and wins... because he's the strongest. Not because he tries to trick his companions.


This i simply not true. I understand one can dislike him for his antics (I was never a big fan myself) but he was a very strong rider in his own right and did not only win because he was able to fool his opponents. He won several victories solo where he simply rode away from his chasers and was too strong to ever be caught again. He was also quite an accomplished one day racer who has had top 5 placings in LBL, Amstel, Dwaars door Vlaanderen, top 10 at de Ronde and has won Quebec, Brabraantse Pijl and loads of french classics.

He might not have had quite the same engine as De Gendt has but Voeckler was a very, very talented cyclist, and I believe his talent is actually often underrated because of his demeanor.
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Re:

14 Jul 2019 19:25

Logic-is-your-friend wrote:Considering the fact that he didn't really prepare the Giro to go for GC, i'm not sure if he wouldn't have been able to do better. But... he simply wasn't willing/able to "live the life" of a GC rider. So my argument is, that the reason why he never did, is not because he lacked the (physical) talent or tools. But that it was a mental/mindset issue. He was only 25 back then, so he had plenty of time to improve.
Difficult to predict what he might have been able to do in GC, but i think he's happy with the carreer he chose and the palmares he has. I just didn't agree with the comparison with Voeckler, who, for GC, always got his time "for free" (like in 2011). De Gendt didn't get time for free in 2012, it was a solo attack from far, and he was an immediate threat to places 1-7 ahead of him, with the ITT coming up. So you just can't compare.

Furthermore, Voeckler won his raids usually due to play-acting and letting others do the work for him in the breakaway. De Gendt always does most of the work in the break, and wins... because he's the strongest. Not because he tries to trick his companions.


Numerous riders have complained about being in a break with TV and how he wouldnt do his share if work and would only pull faces when the camera was on

They mentioned on the coverage the other day that Rory Sutherland complained how hard it was to keep up with TDG early in the year when they where in the break. Complete opposite end of the spectrum
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Re:

14 Jul 2019 19:49

Bushman wrote:
Furthermore, Voeckler won his raids usually due to play-acting and letting others do the work for him in the breakaway. De Gendt always does most of the work in the break, and wins... because he's the strongest. Not because he tries to trick his companions.


This i simply not true. I understand one can dislike him for his antics (I was never a big fan myself) but he was a very strong rider in his own right and did not only win because he was able to fool his opponents. He won several victories solo where he simply rode away from his chasers and was too strong to ever be caught again. He was also quite an accomplished one day racer who has had top 5 placings in LBL, Amstel, Dwaars door Vlaanderen, top 10 at de Ronde and has won Quebec, Brabraantse Pijl and loads of french classics.

He might not have had quite the same engine as De Gendt has but Voeckler was a very, very talented cyclist, and I believe his talent is actually often underrated because of his demeanor.


What i said was very very true. That doesn't mean he wasn't a good cyclist. I actually rate Voeckler. And while he was a strong rider in his own right, more often than not, he would try to weasle his way out of doing his share of the work, saving energy for his attack. I'm sure some people think that's "smart" or "funny", but to me, that alone is enough not to compare him to someone like De Gendt. I agree that he was a strong rider, which made his antics even more off-putting.
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Re:

14 Jul 2019 20:20

staubsauger wrote:I truly believe De Gendt could ride as a general classification rider. It just wouldn't fully reward his capabilites as a rider and like you stated he isn't comfortable with it.


That right there is a pretty good reason not to.
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15 Jul 2019 06:56

What an overhype. Those Vacansoleil days with Ricco, Mosquera etc. could never come back.
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Re:

15 Jul 2019 11:06

Kokoso wrote:What an overhype. Those Vacansoleil days with Ricco, Mosquera etc. could never come back.

Ricco only raced Grand Prix Marsellaisse & the Italian fall classics for Vacansoleil, though!

Mosquito never raced for them at all.
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Re: Re:

16 Jul 2019 06:34

staubsauger wrote:
Kokoso wrote:What an overhype. Those Vacansoleil days with Ricco, Mosquera etc. could never come back.

Ricco only raced Grand Prix Marsellaisse & the Italian fall classics for Vacansoleil, though!

Mosquito never raced for them at all.

And? What?
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