The Lotto-Dstny veteran will goal degree wins on the Volta a Catalunya and Vuelta a España subsequent season, however has stated that he hopes to spend time racing in Asia at Continental stage, pronouncing that the risk to race there would “develop the horizons.”
Chatting with Het Nieuwsblad, the 37-year-old stated that he “nonetheless desires to stay biking so much”, including that he is prepared to proceed exploring off-road racing, too, having already competed in numerous gravel races lately.
“I will forestall at skilled stage, however it might simply as smartly be that I will proceed at Continental stage. I nonetheless wish to stay biking so much. In conjunction with certainly one of my absolute best pals, Willem Wauters, we wish to soak up numerous off-road occasions just like the Cape Epic MTB race or gravel races in the United States,” he stated prior to speaking in regards to the doable to visit Asia.
“I might additionally love to race in Asia – Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea – purely for amusing and about 40 race days a yr. There are sufficient Continental groups who already wish to contract a Ecu rider for some degree races in Asia.
“On the Excursion of Langkawi, I noticed that the ones small Asian groups are smartly organised. My former teammate Raymond Kreder rides for the Eastern group Ukiyo. For part of the yr, they depart him on my own after which every now and then he comes over for the Excursion of Japan, Thailand, Taiwan.
“That is an revel in I wish to achieve. It broadens the horizons and there is all the time a special, comfy environment there. Spending two or 3 years like that turns out like a good suggestion to me.”
He stated that are supposed to his Asian dream no longer figure out, then he’d be open to racing at Continental or membership stage in Belgium, despite the fact that he’d nonetheless be in favour of taking over a much-reduced calendar.
Prior to now 3 seasons De Gendt has raced 77, 97, and 79 days, and he stated that he would not have the ability to pass from that to 0.
“If that does not figure out then I am hoping for a homegrown Continental group or membership to compete in some races with,” he stated. “However the aim isn’t for me to race as an elite all yr spherical. However, I do not know if it is wholesome to all of sudden say ‘increase, bang, completed’ finally those years at the motorcycle.”
De Gendt’s ultimate season will mark his tenth with Lotto-Dstny after spells with Topsport Vlaanderen, Vacansoleil and QuickStep which noticed him win levels at Paris-Great, the Excursion de Suisse, Volta a Catalunya and the Giro d’Italia, additionally completing 2nd on the latter in 2012.
Through the years, he is established himself as a breakaway specialist, and because becoming a member of Lotto he is gained two levels on the Excursion de France, 4 extra in Catalunya, and one apiece on the Giro and Vuelta.
He stated that part of his determination arose from the months spent at house right through the COVID-19 pandemic, the end result being that it has since been tougher to be clear of house and his kids for lengthy classes.
He had first of all deliberate to retire in 2022, however his “stage used to be nonetheless too excellent” and he discovered Lotto providing him a freelance after the wins stored coming.
“I am 99% certain that it is going to be my final yr,” De Gendt stated, relating to his new determination to hold up his wheels. “If I in point of fact really feel like I am not utterly completed, and I am getting to a greater stage once more… However it is going to undoubtedly no longer be a two-year contract.
“That is one large query mark,” he added when requested about his long term past racing. “I am hoping for some task provides. If they do not come, then I will have to search out one thing myself. I best have sure experience in biking.
“Alternatively, it should smartly be that six years later, the entirety I do know and say about racing is not related. Racing adjustments so much – for instance, I lived in the course of the days when most sensible riders stored quiet till the general 20km however now they begin 100km from the end.”