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Road Culture

Bobby & Jens: Thomas De Gendt

The Belgian rider reveals his tips for breakaways, his take on the latest crop of pros, and more.

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“Jens Voigt 2.0” is high praise for any cyclist. Through his daring breakaways and memorable victories on the biggest stages of the sport, Thomas De Gendt has certainly earned that comparison from Bobby & Jens co-host Bobby Julich.

He’s one of the strongest riders in the peloton of the last decade. But even the best can overdo things from time to time. Thomas talks overtraining since the truncated and delayed 2020 season restarted — 135 race days including four grand tours in 13 months will take its toll on even the best riders in the world — and recalibrating for 2022.

While many things about Thomas’s schedule next season are still up in the air, including the Lotto-Soudal team’s entire Tour de France roster, we can predict with some certainty that there will be some breakaways from the Belgian rider. Thomas gave his expert insights into the tactics of a breakaway. It’s more than just going as hard as you can for as long as you can — although that’s important too. “Somebody has to crack,” he said.

Find out what goes through his head during a breakaway and learn the small tweaks he makes to his preparation for days when he knows he’s going all in. And of course, there’s another famed breakaway specialist on the show in co-host Jens Voigt who provides even more insight into the conversation.

And Thomas is a little bit unusual amongst breakaway specialists because he once contested GC, finishing on the podium at the Giro d’Italia in 2012. Find out about the different chapters of his career and why he changed his focus.

The conversation also turned to the latest generation of pros and what could be making them such strong racers early in their careers. “Normally young riders, they come to the pro peloton and they are a bit starstruck, and they see us and they have respect,” he said. “But these young guys, they don’t have respect, they just attack you and they leave you behind and they win the races.”

Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation.

Bobby & Jens is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.

Send your questions to or Tweet @bobbyandjens.

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