Thomas De Gendt: The peloton controlled but we still got more advantage
Apr 27 2018 03:38 am CET

Thomas De Gendt: The peloton controlled but we still got more advantage
Thomas De Gendt: The peloton controlled but we still got more advantage
Photo of Thomas De Gendt by Lotto Soudal

Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal celebrated a well-deserved victory on Thursday, putting the crown on a breakaway with a successful 25km solo.

The Belgian dropped his last companion, Nathan Brown, at 25 kilometers from the finish. At this point, he has a lead of more than four minutes over the peloton and this was more than enough for the rider to secure the stage victory.

De Gendt was accompanied by his teammate Victor Campenaerts for most of the breakaway, which allowed him to take the comfortable margin needed to later confirm the win.

"I did arrive solo at the finish today, but this victory is also the merit of Victor," he said. "He went out of his way to make sure I had as much advantage as possible. Originally it was our plan to warm up the legs for tomorrow’s time trial. Our advantage kept rising and that was mainly due to the work of Victor and me, because our companions didn’t go full. During the climb at less than seventy kilometres from the end, Victor told me we would draw my card.

"I felt very good today and when we had almost eight minutes advantage, I felt it was possible to win. We definitely didn’t just get that lead from the bunch, that was all our own merit. When we had about three minutes advantage, the peloton wanted to start controlling the gap and still we got more and more advantage. I definitely wanted to aim for six minutes lead. We kept on riding full gas and didn’t give up, we just would see where it would take us. And it turned out well. I hear that they rode very fast in the bunch and still I had two minutes advantage left at the finish," the rider continued.

"As soon as I feel the victory is within reach I want to keep up my own pace. After Victor had done a few last pulls, he got distanced in the local lap. Brown was still making a good impression and I wanted to test him. I immediately got a small gap and I decided to continue on my own, even though it was still a long way to the finish. We had done a recon of the local lap on Monday, so I knew what was coming. At that moment I still had about three minutes advantage, enough to remain ahead. I knew I didn’t need to go full anymore, but because of the headwind and the long break the way to the finish was still long."

The win is the result of a solid preparation, during which the rider skipped race in order to be in top shape for the Swiss race.

"I had made a goal of this Tour de Romandie. I chose not to ride the Ardennes Classics to be fresh for this race. In the past I never had a good feeling here and I wanted to change that. Last week I went on a training camp and that way I prepared for this race. I am in excellent shape. It’s nice for the team that we could also win a stage in this WorldTour race. I’ll see tomorrow how I feel for the time trial. Today was already a four-hour time trial for me (laughs). If all goes well I can end up on top twenty tomorrow, I have more chances in the stages this weekend."



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