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Stephen Farrand

Thomas De Gendt to retire in 2024 after 16 years on the attack

Thomas De Gendt of Belgium and Team Lotto Dstny attacks during the 78th Tour of Spain 2023 Stage 6 a 1831km stage from La Vall dUix to Observatorio Astrofsico de Javalambre 1947m UCIWT on August 31 2023 in Observatorio Astrofsico de Javalambre Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images.

Thomas De Gendt has announced that the 2024 road season will be his last, with the ‘breakaway king’ of the peloton targeting final stage victories at the Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta a España, while “enjoying every race i will do in my final year.” 

De Gendt quietly made the announcement via social media before a Saturday training ride, quickly receiving hundreds of messages of appreciation. 

“2024 will be the start of my 16th and final season as a pro,” he wrote in a brief message.  

“My big goals are a 6th stage win in Volta Catalunya and a 2nd stage win in Vuelta a Espana. But above all, enjoying every race will do in my final year.”  

The 37-year-old Belgian will once again ride for Lotto Dstny in 2024, his tenth season with the team. 

De Gendt turned professional with Topsport Vlaanderen in 2009 after three years at Continental level. He began to secure important results at Vacansoleil-DCM and soloed to a stage victory on the Stelvio at the 2012 Giro d’Italia. The stage win ensured De Gendt finished third overall behind Ryder Hesjedal and Joaquim Rodriguez. 

De Gendt transformed his career by becoming a successful breakaway specialist, using his power and race craft to force the right attack and then win, usually alone. 

His palmares includes stage victories at most WorldTour stage races, including two at the Tour de France, two at the Giro d’Italia, one at the Vuelta a España and five at the Volta a Catalunya.   

De Gendt has ridden 24 Grand Tours, finishing 21 of them. He is admired for his breakaway tenacity and his love of riding. 

In 2018 he and close friend Bart Wellens rode home from Il Lombardia as an end of season road trip. In 2019 they completed a 700 km gravel ride in Spain. This summer De Gendt skipped the Tour de France to instead complete a 12-day ride from Belgium to Spain in preparation for the Vuelta a España.

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