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Three weeks is a long time to be on the road for any elite pro in a grand tour like the Giro d’Italia.
Thomas De Gendt knows.
The 35-year-old on Lotto-Soudal recently completed the 2022 Giro d’Italia for what was his 22nd grand tour of his career.
For pros and everyone else on the grand tour circuit, the racing is only a portion of what goes into three weeks on the move.
In addition to each day’s racing, there are bus rides, flights, ferries, transfers, and occasional helicopter rides in the never-ending jigsaw puzzle of stitching together 21 stages across Italy.
In a social media post this week, De Gendt revealed what went into his three-week Giro experience. Here’s what he revealed:
“My Giro in numbers:
“3,859km, 104h36m on the bike.
“3,150km, 70 hours spent in the bus or car.
“99,296 kcal used and eaten.
“50,378 meters elevation gain.
“20 different hotels.
“One stage win.
“Pain in legs, unlimited.”
That’s a lot of movement, calories, and pain, from start to finish.
No mention, however, of wheelies or pineapple pizzas.
De Gendt also neglected how much time he spent in the media mixed zones. A popular figure both online and among the Giro press corps, De Gendt usually stepped into the media fray every morning for up to 20 minutes each day patiently answering questions.
Add another post-stage victory podium and press conference when he won stage 8, and that adds up to several more hours over the course of three weeks.
Post grand tour blues is real. It feels illegal not having to race today.
— Thomas De Gendt (@DeGendtThomas) May 30, 2022
What he didn’t add was three nations — Hungary, Italy, and a short dip into Slovenia — as well as a well-deserved break after the race.
Before the Giro started, De Gendt said he’d been racing 418 days in grand tours across his career.
“I counted 418 race days. It’s not the most of active riders, but it seemed a bit high to me,” De Gendt told VeloNews at the start. “That is more than one year of continuous riding, and that’s a lot.”
After reaching Verona, he can add 21 more from the 2022 Giro, bringing the total to 440 days.
So does De Gendt remember every one of those race days? De Gendt said an emphatic no.
“You only remember the hard ones and the days you win,” he said. “The easy days you don’t remember, but the ones when you were extremely cold or you crash or you’re tired or you win, those are the ones you do not forget.”
De Gendt, who said at the start of the Giro he was still looking to lock down a new contract, isn’t slated to race the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España, though plans could change.