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Soudal - Quick Step Thread

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Merlier serves a good purpose though for the team. He will pick up wins here and there. Stages and a couple of semi-classics each season. It was a smart and good signing.

40% of SQS wins last season came from Merlier and Evenepoel.
Maybe it could work now that Jakobsen has left as it was certainly not workable to give grand tour priority to a top tier GC contender and 2 elite sprinters.
 
I‘ve just had a look at SQS‘s team (riders) for 2024…

To be honest, I‘m not too impressed. Lots of „mediocre“ riders. No top-top stars. No riders who „guarantee“ victories.

They will achieve their 40 victories again, but that‘s about 1.1/2.1 races.

Times are over that they won big in WT races. In Belgium alone, Lotto-Destiny, Alpecin-Dec. and Intermarche all have left SQS behind them.

Evenepoel has not gotten his expected strong domestiques. And his Vuelta Tourmalet stage of 2023 makes me wonder if he himself is ready for 2024 Yellow in TdF… ;)
 

Well, I have found someone who can succeed me”: Patrick Lefevere​


Lefevere : “That is not a simple quest, because I cannot miss. As a joke I always say that with thirty riders per season I can be wrong by one transfer . Not in the role of successor. But: we have found someone who will start in a role as COO.”
Rod sounds like he maybe available,
 
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I‘ve just had a look at SQS‘s team (riders) for 2024…

To be honest, I‘m not too impressed. Lots of „mediocre“ riders. No top-top stars. No riders who „guarantee“ victories.

They will achieve their 40 victories again, but that‘s about 1.1/2.1 races.

Times are over that they won big in WT races. In Belgium alone, Lotto-Destiny, Alpecin-Dec. and Intermarche all have left SQS behind them.

Evenepoel has not gotten his expected strong domestiques. And his Vuelta Tourmalet stage of 2023 makes me wonder if he himself is ready for 2024 Yellow in TdF… ;)
I think you can guarantee a few victories for Remco.
 
I‘ve just had a look at SQS‘s team (riders) for 2024…

To be honest, I‘m not too impressed. Lots of „mediocre“ riders. No top-top stars. No riders who „guarantee“ victories.

They will achieve their 40 victories again, but that‘s about 1.1/2.1 races.

Times are over that they won big in WT races. In Belgium alone, Lotto-Destiny, Alpecin-Dec. and Intermarche all have left SQS behind them.

Evenepoel has not gotten his expected strong domestiques. And his Vuelta Tourmalet stage of 2023 makes me wonder if he himself is ready for 2024 Yellow in TdF… ;)

They're the 3rd best team in the peloton by CQ-ranking and UCI-ranking. 23 WT wins, 3rd again.
You must be on a special kind of crack to think SQS is the worst team out of the Belgian teams you mentioned.
"No top-top" stars? Only Vingegaard and Pogacar are stars? What the fck is this.

They've won WT-races with Cattaneo, Asgreen, Evenepoel, Merlier, Alaphilippe, Cerny, Vernon and Jakobsen. They've even won a WT TTT.
No riders to guarantee victories? Merlier is arguably one of the fastest sprinters in the world with 13 victories this season. Evenepoel has 28 victories in the last two seasons alone, only Pogacar outperforms him in that regard.
The riders leaving have like 10 wins between them and this is including Jakobsen.

Even the GT-support team is more than decent enough and I'd rank them among the Bahrain and Ineos squads

Am I being trolled?
 
The problem for SQS is simple to explain. A few years ago they were nearly the only team with some candidates to win cobbles classics while there was never a heavy favourite. Heaviest favourite was often Sagan, who in the end didnt win often. So they were able to outplay other teams because of their team strength on this terrain. They could attack and attack while the favourites or domestiques of other teams had to work. So they won a lot of those classics.

Now there are Pogacar, WvA and MVdP and team strength doesnt matter at all against them. Their teams are strong enough to control till 50km before finish and from there on you need to be nearly as strong as them which no SQS rider is. So they arent able to win those races anymore. But that was always SQS special part of the season.

Then there is Alaphilippe who isnt on his top level anymore. Landa had a great Vuelta but never was close to win it. Overall I see Remco as the teams top-star, Merlier and Van Wilder as special and then there are a lot of good guys but I would undersign that this isnt a special team anymore. No more Wolfspack times. Just a team like others but to say that clear: Still a lot better than some other belgian teams.:D
 
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I think this is a pretty good analysis of why they aren't as successful as before anymore, though I would add that they've apparently dropped a bit in the WT hierarchy in terms of budget, so they have more troubles keeping multiple good riders on the payroll than in the past. Additionally, they've been stuck with a large chunk of their budget going to Alaphilippe, who may have underperformed more in the last 2 years than any other big contract rider they've had in recent years.
 
I think this is a pretty good analysis of why they aren't as successful as before anymore, though I would add that they've apparently dropped a bit in the WT hierarchy in terms of budget, so they have more troubles keeping multiple good riders on the payroll than in the past. Additionally, they've been stuck with a large chunk of their budget going to Alaphilippe, who may have underperformed more in the last 2 years than any other big contract rider they've had in recent years.
He and Asgreen are at like half their previous high water mark. But to be fair, Alaf has had some bad crashes, and one that was close to life-threatening. I'm not sure he's going to ever get back to his 2019—21 form.
 
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but I don't yet have quite the same expectations as Paddy.
I share your feelings…

SQS‘s rider list becomes weaker, year after year, and the number of public statements by Lefevere increases, year after year.

Lamperti will be the new Lamperti, nothing else.

One still cannot say anything about his future successes, and should respect that.

If Lefevere was smarter, in this case, he wouldn’t build that much pressure on his rider Lamperti. Lamperti should start his year with the ambition to have a healthy season, to gain new experiences, and try many new things. Most of all, to have as much fun as possible - then everything else will work well.

Lefevere offers statements of a team leader of the 1990ies, or 2000ers. I cannot see any development, there.

We all witnessed how fragile pro careers can be. How QS super talent Dmytro Grabovskyy lost motivation, and finally his life. How Weylandt fell and died at the Giro. How Lotto‘s Stig Broeckx has to live, nowadays.

Lefevere is quick at hyping. How has he hyped Sinkewitz, once… After Sinke went to T-Mobile and tested positive, Patrick Lefevere acted as if there was no Patrik Sinkewitz living on earth.

All these stories hinder me from enjoying Lefevere’s hype on Lamperti…
 

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