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Stage winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil - DCM)
No Tour de France for new Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider
Thomas De Gendt has revealed he will ride the Giro d’Italia in 2014, supporting expected team leader Rigoberto Uran. The Flemish rider confirmed he will miss the Tour de France, where the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team will be built around Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin.
De Gendt was a late signing for Omega Pharma-Quick Step after a disastrous 2013 season. He finished third in the 2012 Giro d’Italia after an audacious attack on the Stelvio but flopped with Vacansoleil-DCM this year, winning just a stage at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
“I know I can’t expect to be a team leader at Omega Pharma-Quick Step. I’ll be there to work for a leader and at the Giro d’Italia, that will probably be Rigoberto Uran. After the season I had, I can’t demand anything,” he told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
“The Tour starts in Britain and so the team will be built around Mark Cavendish, he’ll have a lead out train, while riders like Tony Martin get to do their thing.
“It’s not a problem for me to miss the Tour. I’m happy to go back to the Giro and rediscover the Gavia and the Stelvio. I’ve already studied the route and I like it.”
De Gendt’s 2014 race programme will finalised at an Omega Pharma-Quick Step training camp in Calpe, Spain in December.
Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere has hinted that Cavendish could miss the 2014 Giro d’Italia, despite winning five stages and the red points jersey this year, to ensure he is at his very best for the Tour de France.
Cavendish will have Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi as lead out men in 2014, with Tom Boonen also keen to return to the Tour de France to target the cobbled stage and perhaps as part of Cavendish’s lead out train.