Jumbo - QuickStep merger

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So JV struggling to find a sponsor for next year to cover their increasing costs due to having so many top riders. The solution is to merge with other 'super' team resulting in even more highly paid riders and somehow this makes it easier to get a sponsor. Does not make a great deal of sense unless it is funded by Saudi or similar money.

Now cycling finances don't make any sense at the best of times, but if you want Evenpoel it still looks easier to just buy him out rather than ending up with his full team!
That's not why they are struggling to find a sponsor though. They didn't sign all these riders and now think: wait, this has become too expensive. It's just because their main sponsor quit, and as explained, Jumbo weren't as huge a sponsor as some people believe: little over 10 million a year, for cycling and speedskating combined. So let's say the men's cycling team gets 9 million of that, and I'm being very generous here. That they struggle to find even that kind of money is not because their team is too expensive, but because cycling has a serious problem. It's either Middle Eastern money or sugar daddies like Zdenek Bakala that keeps these teams afloat.

Jumbo was also basically a sugar daddy: it's a family owned company. But the family have found themselves in some troubled waters this past year. The father died and the son is in jail for money laundering. Sports sponsorship is not top of their priorities list.
 
I think Primoz would never leave Jumbo Visma (his current team)…

He‘s like, „I‘m everything I am, because you love(d) me“, to Plugge, Niermann, Zeeman, Vinge, Kuss, and all his guys. Primoz is unique, and JV is „his“ team.

Everyone thought, Pogacar would be the real deal for TdF GC for the next 15 years. Suddenly Vingegaard arrived, and Pogacar’s days of TdF champion were over and gone.

That exactly now could happen to Vinge, next year. If Vingegaard doesn‘t have the watts, Primoz will be there, to win his first Tour.

Remco will be a big questionmark. No idea what‘s left for him. And the epic Tourmalet 27min loss of 2023 Vuelta won’t help him.

You never know what happens: crashes, illness, Covid, and so on. With Vinge-Rog-Remco, a future team would have one guy in any case who could win the Tour.
Roglic was very angry during the last week of the Vuelta. He doesn't want to be in the same situation again. Not allowed to attack. Forced to help a Kuss and Vingegaard. No way he will stay with Evenepoel joining the (merge) team.
 
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Bruyneel delivering some interesting details about a possible merger here:

View: https://twitter.com/JohanBruyneel/status/1706070387421810965

Regarding this rumored merger, here are few thoughts:First of all, it’s not confirmed yet so let’s wait and see if this will / can happen. Secondly, if this merger actually happens, nobody with a valid contract (both riders and staff) will be on the street. The teams will have to find a solution (at a minimum pay the remaining part in their contract and find them another team who would get a rider at no cost), or else the UCI will not give the green light for this merger. And I want to add to this that any rider who is under contract on the team who would forfeit or sell their World Tour license and doesn’t want to be part of this merger will be free to go to another team. Their current team would not be able to prevent this because the paying agent who the rider has signed his contract with would cease to exist.
 
and you were worried about the Tour route next year?!:D

Remco in Roglic out - makes sense. Leftovers to Ineos etc. Jumbo get Remco cheap. it seems to me.
They won't get Remco cheap if the merger requires SQS to get rid of its WT license and I think that will be the likely scenario. He will be free at that point. They can both still decide to make a deal but it definitely won't be cheap. To me, a merger doesn't make sense if the purpose is to get Remco cheap. If you want him with his current contract, you need to buy the team and keep using SQS WT license.
 
It would be quite embarrassing for Wielerflits if that happened...

Wielerflits.nl is a trash can, full of frustrated hate mongers. What you read there in personal attacks against (non-Dutch) cyclists, teams and managers is mind-boggling. For example, Evenepoel is constantly insulted as a gnome, smurf, brat, pus, blow head... The same concerning Patrick Lefevere, but using other insults. The bad thing is that the editors allow this, even encourage it through daily articles with provocative titles. The more people respond, the more they earn. One can hope that this does not reflect the average Dutch society.
 
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The writing was on the wall. As soon as you have these power hungry boards of investors coming from Management Schools, riders and teams and results are entirely seen as assets and accounting numbers. One ought to know that business and efficiency in applying investment is what drives the sport.

UCI was either blind or has their hands tied. Pro cycling is heading the same way as footbal in Europe post-Bosman ruling. Back in the 80s and 90s you had actually some variety in UEFA Cup and Champions League winners. Now you have always the same multimillionaire teams always winning and with the best players, smothering smaller teams and curtailing their talent development.

World Tour will become a two league system under a single formal umbrella. Two, three big teams and the rest is for the underdogs.
 
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And if this is true and we get a Soudal - Visma, what about Quick Step as a company?

Will they stop their +25 years presence in world cycling or join another team structure? I remember seeing Intermarché admitting financial woes after Circus halving their investment next season. If I were them I would be keen in bringing them onboard, as they have no doubt shown compromise in sponsoring cycling.
 
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That's not why they are struggling to find a sponsor though. They didn't sign all these riders and now think: wait, this has become too expensive. It's just because their main sponsor quit, and as explained, Jumbo weren't as huge a sponsor as some people believe: little over 10 million a year, for cycling and speedskating combined. So let's say the men's cycling team gets 9 million of that, and I'm being very generous here. That they struggle to find even that kind of money is not because their team is too expensive, but because cycling has a serious problem. It's either Middle Eastern money or sugar daddies like Zdenek Bakala that keeps these teams afloat.

Jumbo was also basically a sugar daddy: it's a family owned company. But the family have found themselves in some troubled waters this past year. The father died and the son is in jail for money laundering. Sports sponsorship is not top of their priorities list.
Thanks for the information. However, it doesn't change the fact that they will be increasing the salary costs of the team . Given the difficulty in getting funding for cycling teams it is hard to see how this is attractive or produces a more stable situation.

As you say, Jumbo's funding was done for the love of the sport and not profit, so trying to find someone else who needs to provide an even bigger budget seems strange. It only makes sense if a few of the high earners move to other teams, which could be a good thing for the peloton in the end. Wout or Roglic to Ineos?
 
Basically... negioate with Remco, if it is him they really want. Outside of the sponsor money.

Team (Soudal - QS) will cease to exist.

Riders are free to go.

Sort of like my theory.
Indeed, all riders will be free. But if the merger goes through, it won't be until 2025. There will be huge negotiations in 2024. Roglic will then definitely leave at the end of next season. Evenepoel will have doubts, because he certainly does not want to work for Vingegaard. So not together in the same Grand Tour. But if Evenepoel does not join the merger team, the merger may not go ahead. If Van Aert wants to save anything from his career, he must take advantage of the merger to get out of his contract. To still win a few top classics, stages in the Tour and the worlds, joining another team. Which was no longer possible as a "milked dry" super domestique this year. And completely impossible with even more leaders in the merge team.
 
When it comes to riders who have a contract this is correct. But that leaves out two things:
a) When all of a sudden a lot of riders are on the market that deflates contracts for every WT level cyclist looking for a team. Riders can't be picky when they know there are 10 more riders currently without a team who could be signed instead. For this reason teams folding is always bad news for rider contracts.
b) This does not include other staff. Like, I don't know how exactly the contracts for team staff look like, but I would be surprised if they work on multi year contracts like pro cyclists. My guess is, if the teams merge, they might get dismissal pay (is that the right word?) but other than that they are simply out of a job.
 
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Honestly, I don't see this as bad as some make it out. Jumbo is already so disgustingly dominant, who outside of Remco even really moves the needle for them? Sure, Asgreen or Landa are definitely riders you don't reject but I don't see how they make a big difference. QS outside Remco was a total no show the last 2 years, Jumbo was ridiculous,
Remco joining the team is annoying, not because it helps Vingegaard (who I don't think even needs his help) but mainly because it takes away the only potential GC rider right now not on JV or UAE to compete in a GT. By next year the only rider to have won a GT not on Jumbo or UAE since July 2021 will be Jai Hindley...
On the bright side, there is now a solid chance that Roglic finally goes to another team and after a while there might even be the possibility that Remco doesn't want to be second fiddle to the sceletor and moves somewhere else as well. Either way, at least there will be some drama, which is all we were grasping at this Vuelta anyway because team wise there was no competition...

Oh and I think the biggest losers if this merger happens are LIDL-Trek who have basically signed everything there is (with potential plenty of overpays) on a scarce market, now almost have a full roster and suddenly there is a huge influx of good riders on the horizon who don't make it into the merged team.
 
I don't like this at all. I'm all for competition and would support any rule / move towards teams not being allowed to have more than 1 rider from the top 10 of the UCI ranking in their team by the start of any year.

Cycling needs competition and merging teams with riders that would normally compete against each other goes completely against the philosophy of cycling (my philosophy :)) .
 
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They won't get Remco cheap if the merger requires SQS to get rid of its WT license and I think that will be the likely scenario. He will be free at that point. They can both still decide to make a deal but it definitely won't be cheap. To me, a merger doesn't make sense if the purpose is to get Remco cheap. If you want him with his current contract, you need to buy the team and keep using SQS WT license.
If Remco does not go to Jumbo, I suspect there will be no merger. QS seem to have the stronger hand in this instance as Jumbo need a sponsor & QS have Remco. QS on the other hand need a GT set up for Remco (if Jumbo think Remco can be a genuine GT contender) so both QS & Jumbo could gain something from a merger.
Obviously we must wait to see whether this merger happens or not, but at the moment Ineos seem to be left out on a limb and one wonders what Sir Jim plans for the team.
 
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What has been whispered before, but has now been confirmed. Evenepoel's incomprehensible collapse on the way to the Tourmalet, without illness or digestive disorder and followed by a dominant performance the next day, was indeed a setup. Not only with the various opportunities to go for stage victories as compensation, but of course also with promises about his position within the new merger team. Probably with the promise that the merger team will ride fully in his service during the 2025 Tour. With Vingegaard, who would not be in top form, in support. Vingegaard would then go for the overall victory in the Giro or Vuelta.
 
If Remco does not go to Jumbo, I suspect there will be no merger.
I’ve seen it being pointed out that one of the main target for this merger is to be a BeNeLux-team, so I think that means Remco, Wout and Kooij are keys and of course Vingegaard because he’s the Tour champion. Of the big guys I think it’s obvious that Roglic (and Alaphilippe) are the one that falls out of the equation.
 
Wielerflits.nl is a trash can, full of frustrated hate mongers. What you read there in personal attacks against (non-Dutch) cyclists, teams and managers is mind-boggling. For example, Evenepoel is constantly insulted as a gnome, smurf, brat, pus, blow head... The same concerning Patrick Lefevere, but using other insults. The bad thing is that the editors allow this, even encourage it through daily articles with provocative titles. The more people respond, the more they earn. One can hope that this does not reflect the average Dutch society.
I think this is mostly because Wielerflits is not just the biggest cycling website of the Netherlands, but also of Belgium. Even though the sport is actually much bigger in Belgium. So the number of Belgian posters is quite large and you get a kind of Holland vs. Belgium-dynamic in the comment section, all the time. Of course this does not reflect Dutch society, like the comment section of HLN.be doesn't reflect Belgium (one must hope).
 
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What has been whispered before, but has now been confirmed. Evenepoel's incomprehensible collapse on the way to the Tourmalet, without illness or digestive disorder and followed by a dominant performance the next day, was indeed a setup. Not only with the various opportunities to go for stage victories as compensation, but of course also with promises about his position within the new merger team. Probably with the promise that the merger team will ride fully in his service during the 2025 Tour. With Vingegaard, who would not be in top form, in support. Vingegaard would then go for the overall victory in the Giro or Vuelta.
Yeah, I been saying he just "gave up" but was laughed at. That it was just an act.

Likely Vinge goes Tour and Vuelta again next year, most likely winning both.

Then probably Giro in 2025 and Tour as dom or going for the double. Unless he actually goes for the double next year already, who knows.
 
Oh and I think the biggest losers if this merger happens are LIDL-Trek who have basically signed everything there is (with potential plenty of overpays) on a scarce market, now almost have a full roster and suddenly there is a huge influx of good riders on the horizon who don't make it into the merged team.
I actually think Lidl-Trek are on the way to becoming the next super team. They're one of the few teams with a proper big name sponsor from outside of the sport that isn't tied to oil money or private wealth. And they seem to have a plan.

Visma-Soudal looks to me like a disaster waiting to happen. Ineos merging with Quickstep I could understand, just like Quickstep once basically merged with HTC. These are mergers that make sense. Visma-Soudal is only based on survival, and nothing else. It's not based on what would be best for the riders or the staff (other than not losing their job, of course).
 
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Wielerflits.nl is a trash can, full of frustrated hate mongers. What you read there in personal attacks against (non-Dutch) cyclists, teams and managers is mind-boggling. For example, Evenepoel is constantly insulted as a gnome, smurf, brat, pus, blow head... The same concerning Patrick Lefevere, but using other insults. The bad thing is that the editors allow this, even encourage it through daily articles with provocative titles. The more people respond, the more they earn. One can hope that this does not reflect the average Dutch society.
They are usually well informed. Negotiations between both parties are more or less confirmed, which does not mean that the outcome is going to be a merger.

Those attacks you mention are probably those in the comments section. That one doesn't stand out for sophistication.
 
I think this is mostly because Wielerflits is not just the biggest cycling website of the Netherlands, but also of Belgium. Even though the sport is actually much bigger in Belgium. So the number of Belgian posters is quite large and you get a kind of Holland vs. Belgium-dynamic in the comment section, all the time. Of course this does not reflect Dutch society, like the comment section of HLN.be doesn't reflect Belgium (one must hope).
Nothing wrong with a "the Netherlands vs Belgium-dynamic. If done respectfully. But the hate messages and serious insults mainly come from Dutch writers and are also aimed at other nationalities, such as France.The fact that it comes from the Netherlands is clearly noticeable in the content, the writing style and the many typical language errors. Not correctly conjugating verbs, not the correct past participle and the constant incorrect use of ij and ei are typical of many Dutch people.
 
Jan 9, 2022
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Honestly, I don't see this as bad as some make it out. Jumbo is already so disgustingly dominant, who outside of Remco even really moves the needle for them? Sure, Asgreen or Landa are definitely riders you don't reject but I don't see how they make a big difference. QS outside Remco was a total no show the last 2 years, Jumbo was ridiculous,
Remco joining the team is annoying, not because it helps Vingegaard (who I don't think even needs his help) but mainly because it takes away the only potential GC rider right now not on JV or UAE to compete in a GT. By next year the only rider to have won a GT not on Jumbo or UAE since July 2021 will be Jai Hindley...
On the bright side, there is now a solid chance that Roglic finally goes to another team and after a while there might even be the possibility that Remco doesn't want to be second fiddle to the sceletor and moves somewhere else as well. Either way, at least there will be some drama, which is all we were grasping at this Vuelta anyway because team wise there was no competition...

Oh and I think the biggest losers if this merger happens are LIDL-Trek who have basically signed everything there is (with potential plenty of overpays) on a scarce market, now almost have a full roster and suddenly there is a huge influx of good riders on the horizon who don't make it into the merged team.
I'm tending to agree with this.

Cycling isn't football where players will put aside personal goals to be part of a team what wins a championship or Champions League. At the end of a cyclists career we still look at their personal palmares and don't remember where they finished 3rd in a GT while helping a colleague to win!

Having Vingegaard, Remco, Roglic and Wout on the same team (along with all the super domestiques) can't work long term.