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Tour Down Under confirms a hunch

So the 2011 season has started and some other websites have nicked our idea from last season in having kit and bike reviews.

We were ahead of the game in 2010 and we were also out front back in September 2009 when suggesting big things for Thomas De Gendt.

Click here to read that blog.

It wasn't too big a punt as at the time the Topsport rider had just spent a week being the only man who could get close to Edvald Boasson Hagen in the Tour of Britain.

De Gendt was almost permanently off the front of the bunch that week, attacking uphill and down dale. It was magical to watch (in comparison to the Columbia team's dominance of the latter stages each day in setting up the sprint for E B-H).

Things seemed to go a little quiet for Thomas last season.

The Tour of Britain last year was illuminated by the positive riding of the Vacansoleil team. Borut Bosuc and Jonnie Hoogerland being key animators. So the transfer of De Gendt to a team of attackers like that is a brilliant move.

(At this point I would like to point out that I have yet to forgive Vacansoleil for their signing of Riccardo "Chump" Ricco)

His ride in the week long Tour Down Under was similar in concept to that 2009 late summer master class on our shores. Attacking and generally riding out front in breaks was entertaining to see and but for Cameron Meyer, we might have seen the Belgian in the funny orangish jersey and maybe even winning overall.

It will be interesting to see the programme set out this season for De Gendt, especially as I predicted a good ride from him in next years Ronde... no pressure.

Whether he has the engine or the craft to ride a grand tour in that manner whilst preserving energy is not known, but it is worrying for me that a new rider on the block might be stealing my affection from Albert Timmer... and you all know he and I have history.

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