De Gendt: It's clear that the general level is just much higher at the Tour de France

PONTIVY FRANCE JUNE 28 Thomas De Gendt of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal leads The Peloton during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 3 a 1829km stage from Lorient to Pontivy LeTour TDF2021 on June 28 2021 in Pontivy France Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) during stage 3 of the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Lotto Soudal's breakaway specialist Thomas De Gendt is in the midst of his ninth Tour de France, though the Belgian has said that this year has been a different experience for him in comparison with previous editions, as his best efforts have so far have brought meagre rewards.

The Belgian, who won stages from the break in both 2016 and 2019, has struggled in 2021, having only been part of a brief 30-kilometre move towards the start of stage 6 to Châteauroux during the opening nine days of the race.

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Dani Ostanek
Senior News Writer

Dani Ostanek is Senior News Writer at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired full-time. Prior to joining the team, they had written for numerous major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly and Rouleur.


Dani has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, World Championships, and the spring Classics. They have interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Mathieu van der Poel, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.


As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Dani also oversees How to Watch guides and works on The Leadout newsletter throughout the season. Their favourite races are Strade Bianche and Paris-Roubaix and their favourite published article is from the 2024 edition of the latter: 'Unless I'm in an ambulance, I'm finishing this race' – Cyrus Monk, the last man home at Paris-Roubaix