The 34-year-old is riding his ninth Tour de France, with the breakaway specialist having won a stage in 2019 and 2016, but he said this year was a different experience with his best efforts bringing meager rewards after a quick change in the general level.“Next year someone else can try it for me on the Tour,” De Gendt told Sporza. “I couldn’t show anything this year and not last year either. ”
Tired race De Gendt has removed Vuelta a España from his schedule and plans to ride with a light schedule for the rest of the year.
“I can’t recover like the other years. Two years ago I did the three big laps in a row and then I started the Tour Down Under again with almost no rest, ”said De Gendt.
“It might not be bad to get off the bike for a few months and only start over in Paris-Nice, for example. Most likely I will only do the Tour of Norway this year and a few Belgian one day races, if someone is missing. “
Last year it was De Gendt’s first on the Tour de France where he did not finish among the top ten on the stage, his best being 20th, while this year his best was 32nd in the time trial from step 5.
“Tomorrow, I may try to escape, but for the time trial, I will no longer exceed myself to become 30th,” the Belgian told the broadcaster on Thursday. if he had won. I thought so too. That with a victory I would say: it was nice. I stop. “
However, that victory did not come so De Gendt remained on the Tour, one of only four on his team left / Caleb Ewan crashed in stage 3 and broke his collarbone, Jasper De Buyst started in stage 9 – with the alpine test overtaking a number of riders came out – while Tosh van der Sande retired in stage 11 and Roger Kluge started in 13 after a crash.
De Gendt crossed the 129.7 kilometer finish line of stage 18 at the top of Luz Ardiden in 62nd place.
“The last ascent of this Tour and maybe my last mountain on the Tour,” he said. “There is a very good chance that this will be my last Tour. But Luz Ardiden is a nice climb to finish. “
When asked if he had thought of his farewell to the mountains on the final ascent, De Gendt said: “I didn’t think of much. I know this climb was on my very first Tour in 2011 and still does. The circle is complete . It’s zest. “