De Gendt aiming for top ten in 2013 Tour de France

Thomas De Gendt's plan for the coming year is to do as well in the Tour de France as he did this year in the Giro d'Italia.  “I will be very happy with a place in the top ten,” the Vacansoleil-DCM rider said.

The 25-year-old was in eighth place, 5:40 down, going into the 20th stage of this year's Giro. He jumped to fourth place with his win in that penultimate stage, winning on a solo attack on the brutal stage with five ranked climbs. He jumped on the final climb, the Stelvio, and won by nearly a minute over Damiano Cunego. A strong time trial on the closing stage moved him up to third place, giving Vacansoleil it's first ever grand tour podium spot.

He missed the Tour this year, as his wedding was held on the day of the prologue. But he anticipates nothing will stand in his way in 2013.  “I managed to win a stage in the Giro and to bring in a good placing, which I would also like to do in the Tour,” he told Sporza.

He has not studied the course yet, but knows that “Alpe d'Huez suits me,” a climb on which he finished sixth in 2011. “Next year it will be climbed twice in a short stage. And a short stage means that it will be more difficult. Such a stage should suit me.”

He is not thrilled by the earlier long stage to Mont Ventoux, though.  “There are no climbs before the Ventoux.  That means there will be 200 riders together at the foot of the climb. That is difficult. I am sorry that they didn't make it a really tough mountain stage.”

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