The Lotto-Soudal riders are preparing for a long ride home

Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens will ride the 1000 kilometres home to Belgium after completing their last race of the season: Italian monument Il Lombardia on October 13.

The Lotto-Soudal team-mates will cover the distance in six days, over the Alps, through Switzerland and France to Belgium.

De Gendt wrote on Twitter: “The routes/stages are finished. Hotels are booked. Amount of luggage and Apidura bags are tested. 1000km in 6 days. Route can be found on my Strava.”

The pair tested their bikes with the luggage bags two months ago. They’ve gone minimal, with one strapped to the bars, one to the top tube and one under the saddle.

“We’ve been planning this already since May,” De Gendt told Cycling Weekly. “The routes are now all up on my Twitter account.”

On Wednesday, De Gendt sent out six Tweets with the day’s routes.

They push off on October 14 from Como, where the 241-kilometre monument Il Lombardia finishes on Saturday. They ride through Switzerland in two stages, over the San Gotthard, to Basel.

The due will pass the Vosges in France, cut through Metz and Luxembourg, the Ardennes and home to Flanders. The longest day will be the final, the push over familiar roads to Semmerzake.

“Why are we ending in Semmerzake. That’s where I live,” De Gendt said. “Tim lives in Monaco, and that would be a short ride.”

De Gendt and Wellens have already booked their hotels in towns along the way. They only need to hope for good weather in mid-October.

Wellens will not ride back to Monaco, De Gendt explained he will visit his parents before heading south to the Côte d’Azur.

This September, Aqua Blue Sport team-mates Conor Dunne and Larry Warbasse rode an eight-day tour in Italy and France, around 1100 kilometres. It was their #NoGo tour since the team, folding this season, pulled out of the Tour of Britain.

“It wasn’t inspired by Dunne and Warbasse, we were planning this already,” De Gendt clarified. “But Tim spoke to Warbasse on training and he gave some tips.”

De Gendt recently closed the Vuelta a España in top form, winning the mountains competition in Madrid, when Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) celebrated the overall classification win.

The 1000 kilometres will add to the 12,583.22 that De Gendt has already covered in 87 race days this season.