Thomas De Gendt gives up World Championship place due to fatigue

The Belgian's coach believes De Gendt still has the form to win a stage in Spain

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Having put himself forward for all three grand tours this season, Thomas De Gendt has chosen to give up his place in the Belgium selection for the UCI Road World Championships at the end of September.

The 32-year-old won stage eight of the Tour de France, and is currently looking ahead at what remains of the Vuelta a España where he finished seventh in the stage 10 individual time trial.

The race concludes on Sunday September 15, with the World Championships road race in Yorkshire on Sunday September 29 and the time trial on the preceding Wednesday.

The Lotto-Soudal rider told Sporza: “I have nothing to look for at the World Championships.”

The Belgian’s coach, Paul Van Den Bosch told Sporza that it wasn’t only the physical toll of three Grand Tours that would prohibit De Gendt from a top performance in Yorkshire, but the mental strength required.

“As far as the World Championships is concerned, there are several facets: can you still cope physically and can you still charge yourself mentally to participate?”

“My conversations with Thomas show that it is not only physically a lot [to ask], but it is also difficult to recharge for another 14-days and then to give the best of himself at the World Championships.”

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De Gendt’s best performance at the Giro d’Italia was third in the stage 21 individual time trial, but Van Den Bosch doesn’t see it as a wasted effort.

The coach commented: “For Thomas, his chances of winning lie in those big grand tours and other stage races. He won’t shine in one-day races. If he rides the three tours, he immediately has three chances. “

“Riding a tour leads to fitness improvement. Therefore, the Giro may have been a positive factor for his top form in the Tour.”

Van Den Bosch certainly didn’t rule out another win in Spain

“We have searched for balance and as I now estimate Thomas is not doing badly. He does not feel empty. I do not think he has done too much between the Tour and the Vuelta. We won’t know until the end.”