De Gendt delivers breakaway masterclass for second Giro d’Italia stage win

As recently as three days ago in the Giro d’Italia, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) was publicly questioning whether he still had the strength to combine going for Grand Tour breakaways with teamwork duties for fastman Caleb Ewan. But in fact, the answer to the veteran Belgian’s doubts came far sooner than perhaps anyone, including himself, could have expected.

On stage 8’s hilly circuit in Naples, the 35-year-old outwitted and outpaced his rivals thanks to a mixture of  planning, teamwork, pure strength and, possibly most importantly, finely-honed race craft. The net result was a victory which initially looked well nigh impossible, given the strength of the opposition in the 20-man day-long break that had gone clear, but which finally ended with De Gendt tearing hell for leather for the line in a small group sprint and taking his fifth Grand Tour stage win.

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