Thomas De Gendt rode in Vacansoleil-DCM's first season victory on a day when he started out with “no good legs”. Things got better as the final stage of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya went along, and he won the sprint of a small break group to take the win.
The closing stage concluded with eight laps of a circuit course in Barcelona, which included a short but sharp two-kilometer climb. De Gendt bridged up to the remnants of an early break group with 22km to go, and ultimately proved to be the fastest of the five-man group.
“On Sunday I didn't have good legs at first, but I felt better each lap,” he told sporza.be. In the group, “I felt the strongest and the fastest. Such a small group is good for me. Those with me were not the fastest riders. All the pieces fit together.”
Bringing in the team's first win is “a relief,” he said. “We always ride to win, but failed each time. The zero stayed behind the name of Vacansoleil too long.”
Despite it all, the Belgian is still not at the top of his form. “Personally, I'm still not on my top form that I had last year in the Giro [d'Italia]. It can still get better. I will save it for the Tour [de France]. In the Basque Country and California, we will test our team. Hopefully everything will point toward July.”