QuickStep manager Lefevere has veiled dig at Team Sky’s Brailsford

Posted on: January 9th, 2019

QuickStep manager  Patrick Lefevere  wants Team Sky to survive but he’s not exactly broken-hearted at the what the future might hold for Dave Brailsford.

 

Patrick Lefevere, legendary Belgian cycling manager of Deceuninck-QuickStep, has suggested Dave Brailsford will be forced to think like the rest of cycling if he cannot replace Team Sky’s sponsorship cash.

Rather than having a lot more money than every other team and buying the riders of his choice, Brailsford would instead be forced to think about his choices.

Lefevere said he wanted Team Sky to survive, adding the departure of such a big team from cycling would be bad for the sport.

However, he said during an interview at his team’s launch that he would be interested to see what happened if Brailsford was forced to run a team on the same budget as other squads.

Team Sky has a budget of about €40 million, or around double the average annual spend of other WorldTour teams.

“I had some telephone calls from people who probably thought I was a happy man that Sky is disappearing, but that’s totally not true,” Lefevere said.

“It’s never good thinking about Manchester United or Real Madrid disappearing from football. It’s a sad story.

“I hope Dave finds new money, but I hope he finds 25 million, not 40. Then the competition will be not so uneven anymore.

“Then he has to leave riders, like I had to do with Niki (Terpstra) or (Fernando) Gaviria,” he said in reference to two of his star riders he was forced to let leave the team because of a funding shortfall at the time.

“This means he would no longer think with his wallet but instead with his head when buying riders.”

Lefevere faced an uncertain period last year when he was looking for a new sponsor to come in and make up a shortfall.

Since then Belgian PVC company Deceuninck and beer company Maes have both come on as sponsors.

And Patrick Lefevere said he had not handled the situation well, suggesting he had needlessly lost two very good riders.

“I have to put my hand up and say I announced too late that I was looking for new money,” he said.

“If you are the most winning team, people think that everything’s ok and you have the budget.

“But this was not true and it made for one the most stressful seasons of my career. As soon as I announced, both Maes and Deceuninck approached me.

“But by that point, I had already made the decision to let Niki go. It was then that I realised I had made a mistake.”

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