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De Gendt still in search of a team for 2014

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Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM)

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) was awarded the most aggressive rider prize

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) was awarded the most aggressive rider prize (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil)

Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil) (Image credit:

Thomas De Gendt still doesn't know where he might ride next season, and says that his lack of a new contract is punishment for his “loyalty to Vacansoleil-DCM.” The Dutch team is folding at the end of this season as both sponsors are leaving.

One option is that he could go to the new Professional Continental team that Vacansoleil sport director Hilaire Van der Scheuren is said to be setting up, but the Belgian rider wants to remain at the WorldTour level.

"I would like to go to Omega Pharma-QuickStep, but my gut feeling says that Bakelants, in good form, now has a better chance,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “Meanwhile, Lampre-Merida and the team of Fernando Alonso (the successor of Euskaltel-Euskadi, ed.) asked to see the data from my biological passport.

“I am punished for my loyalty to Vacansoleil-DCM,” he concluded.

At the moment he is concentrating on the world championships. He did not finish with his Vacansoleil-DCM teammates in Sunday's team time trial, having to drop back after 41km. He will ride the individual time trial for Belgium on Wednesday, but will not ride the road race.

De Gendt has had a difficult year in 2013 with only one victory in his palmares, a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya. His other result of note was his third place finish in the stage 11 individual time trial at the Tour de France.

De Gendt finished third overall in the Giro d'Italia in 2012 but opted not to contest this year's edition. The 26-year-old Belgian instead rode the Tour de France where he finished 96th overall and was disqualified from the Vuelta a Espana on the tenth stage.