He can still do it!  Escape king Thomas De Gendt completes flight in the Giro in a mighty way

It was a stage that Mathieu van der Poel had undoubtedly pointed out beforehand. A hilly stage that resembled a classic, was made for the Dutchman.

In the first kilometers Van der Poel immediately attacked and was joined by about twenty other riders. Thomas De Gendt, Harm Vanhoucke and Bini Girmay, among others, slipped along with Van der Poel.

For the next 100 kilometers this group stayed together and they were able to stretch the lead over the pack to just over four minutes.

With 46 kilometers to go, Van der Poel decided to officially declare the final open. With a blistering attack he immediately thinned out the leading group.

After some lurking and hesitation in the leading group, De Gendt and co were able to come back and they immediately chose the harepath. A new leading group of four riders including the two Lotto Belgians, an Italian and a Spaniard was a fact.

What followed was an exciting catch-up race. De Gendt and co tried to stay out of the clutches of Girmay, Van der Poel, Martin, Poels and Schmid.

Van der Poel and Girmay came in less than 10 seconds in the final kilometer, but the leading group held on.

Thanks to great preparatory work by Harm Vanhoucke, De Gendt was able to launch like a comet and keep everyone behind. No one came close yet.

After ten years, De Gendt can write a second Giro stage on his account. Gabburo and Arcas complete the podium. Harm Vanhoucke was fourth.

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