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Soudal - Quick Step Thread

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Ah, ok, thanks - didn‘t know that…

Hope he‘s fine, fingers crossed…
Fabio Jakobsen crashed as well. Both of them crashed twice. Sounds like a day to quickly forget for Quickstep.

 
So it IS coming down to tactics, since they can't adapt to the fact that they no longer have a monster trio like Boonen, Terpstra and Stybar where tactics literally didn't matter. Like you said, just let those guys destroy the race. Asgreen, Lampaert or Senechal are decent riders that CAN do well with the right setup. So you can either point to Lefevere for not signing a replacement of the same caliber or you blame Steels and Peeters for not doing anything with the decent riders they have...
They have the same 7 riders under contract that started Ronde last time they won the race.
 
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Merlier is older than Jakobsen.

Yes, but Merlier has a contract for the next three seasons including this one.

In the past they let go of Gaviria and signed Viviani, who was older, so would not be the first time either.

I dont know what Jakobsen is being paid right now but he will probably be one of the more expensive riders to renew. Lefevre is not the one to be sentimental and Merlier is better right now. He seems to have stepped up. Like Viviani, Bennett and so on has done in the past when joining the team.
 
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Yes, but Merlier has a contract for the next three seasons including this one.

In the past they let go of Gaviria and signed Viviani, who was older, so would not be the first time either.

I dont know what Jakobsen is being paid right now but he will probably be one of the more expensive riders to renew. Lefevre is not the one to be sentimental and Merlier is better right now. He seems to have stepped up. Like Viviani, Bennett and so on has done in the past when joining the team.

I think it's premature speculations. Jakobsen has not been looking good so far this season, true, but it's only March the first, and I find it unlikely that he will not improve.

But he might also want to go for a bigger pay-check somewhere else, so I guess there is q good likelihood that he will not be on the team next year.
 
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I think it's premature speculations. Jakobsen has not been looking good so far this season, true, but it's only March the first, and I find it unlikely that he will not improve.

You clearly don't understand how this forum works. If a (big name) rider has two weeks without any major wins, he's completely out of it, and might as well just retire and become a shepherd!
 
I think it's premature speculations. Jakobsen has not been looking good so far this season, true, but it's only March the first, and I find it unlikely that he will not improve.

Sure, but they will still be at a cross-road if he gets another deal or not. Especially if the objective might be to improve support for Remco.

If they have Merlier, Vernon and signs another second-tier sprinter to develop/improve or a new young talent then Jakobsen will be a luxury and tricky to hold on to when he most likely will demand a higher salary.

As I said, I was just wondering. Many decisions for Lefevre to make in the next 6 months.
 
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Think the main issue is attrackting enough quality. With Ineos/Jumbo/UAE throwing millions as if they are cornflakes, it becomes harder and harder to attract enough high level riders to score on multiple fronts. Without a major change in budget, they will need to limit their focus. (having the GT focus with Remco is a hard one when you also want to do classics and sprints).
 
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So it IS coming down to tactics, since they can't adapt to the fact that they no longer have a monster trio like Boonen, Terpstra and Stybar where tactics literally didn't matter. Like you said, just let those guys destroy the race. Asgreen, Lampaert or Senechal are decent riders that CAN do well with the right setup. So you can either point to Lefevere for not signing a replacement of the same caliber or you blame Steels and Peeters for not doing anything with the decent riders they have...
Even the riders you mention were able to take control of a cobble classic until a couple years ago. In 2021 they won Omloop, Harelbeke and Flanders without Boonen, Terpstra and with Stybar clearly on the decline.
Now they are simply missing the watts. In my opinion if you can't follow 20 riders on the Molenberg no tactics will save your day.
 
Even the riders you mention were able to take control of a cobble classic until a couple years ago. In 2021 they won Omloop, Harelbeke and Flanders without Boonen, Terpstra and with Stybar clearly on the decline.
Now they are simply missing the watts. In my opinion if you can't follow 20 riders on the Molenberg no tactics will save your day.
I would jokingly note that they lost their most important man to Movistar, but it has only really been the cobbles squad that have suffered.

Lampaert and Senechal are decent, but no more. Asgreen is the only one able to win by strength, but he hasn't been lucky. And so far this year and last year, Alaphilippe hasn't raced any cobbled races. Not to mention Evenepoel.
 
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Think the main issue is attrackting enough quality. With Ineos/Jumbo/UAE throwing millions as if they are cornflakes, it becomes harder and harder to attract enough high level riders to score on multiple fronts. Without a major change in budget, they will need to limit their focus. (having the GT focus with Remco is a hard one when you also want to do classics and sprints).
Most teams have that. Quickstep were an exception in that they really didn't have any GC riders and could purely focus on the classics. Now they're finding out that the balance is a little difficult. That's not a question of money, more of making the right choices.

Of course if the momentum shifts it could all go their way again, remember Jumbo weren't that impressive in the Monuments last year either. Things can change quickly in cycling. If Van der Poel and Pogacar are there everything changes anyway.
 
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Quite the statement about Boonen.

He might have trainen differently to compensate as the dude was massively talented.

I don't doubt he was better suited to the old parcours but just a little bit of underselling is going on here.
Peak Boonen would not be close? Like he would not even be considered a favorite you must mean with saying that? That has to be one of the wildest takes I have seen.

If he rode today, he would just have more rivals. The landscape in cycling is just way broader these days. There are a lot more teams targeting these races and have riders in their team built for them. Like did Movistar even have a team for these races back in the day? Did they even start?

I believe he would still very much be a big factor in these races, maybe not as dominant, but definitely a big favorite for them.

A guy like Kristoff is pretty good still, right? In the current "meta".

Peak Boonen would still have won a lot, if he were around these days.

I know you must be joking.
I'm not joking. I think the hilly requirements for De Ronde are a lot higher than they used to. Even in the year he won E3, GW, Ronde and Roubaix he could barely hang on on the final Paterberg to Pozzato despite racing a very conservative race. And that is with Cancellara crashing out. Then he won Roubaix by 2 minutes.

He might get into the same spot Kristoff is now. Never sniff the front end of the race in the final 20km and sprint for the highest top 10 spot left. But that's about it. I'd give Boonen 0% shot at hanging with the likes of MvdP, Van Aert and Pogacar on the hills. His only shot would be to anticipate and attack.
 
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I would jokingly note that they lost their most important man to Movistar, but it has only really been the cobbles squad that have suffered.

Lampaert and Senechal are decent, but no more. Asgreen is the only one able to win by strength, but he hasn't been lucky. And so far this year and last year, Alaphilippe hasn't raced any cobbled races. Not to mention Evenepoel.
You will agree Lampaert, Senechal and Ballerini look a lot less decent now than back then though? Bad luck has surely played a part last year, perhaps even in these first races of the season, but the contrast is striking.
 
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I'm not joking. I think the hilly requirements for De Ronde are a lot higher than they used to. Even in the year he won E3, GW, Ronde and Roubaix he could barely hang on on the final Paterberg to Pozzato despite racing a very conservative race. And that is with Cancellara crashing out. Then he won Roubaix by 2 minutes.

He might get into the same spot Kristoff is now. Never sniff the front end of the race in the final 20km and sprint for the highest top 10 spot left. But that's about it. I'd give Boonen 0% shot at hanging with the likes of MvdP, Van Aert and Pogacar on the hills. His only shot would be to anticipate and attack.

Even if what you saying might be "true"... his ability to sprint and being one of the stronger riders in the race would make him a danger. His "only shot" would be a lot more dangerous, than 96% of all the other riders in the race.

You also said PEAK Boonen, that he would have no shot as you originally said is laughable. Not a 37 year-old Boonen or Kristoff. Kristoff in his peak would probably be more of a factor, than today, while still being a factor today.

How many monuments has MVDP and Van Aert won together? Since they make the most sense to compare him too.

Dynamics might have changed a bit, with a lot of different factors to consider, but he would definitely have had a case to be made in this day and age.