The Deceuninck - Quickstep Thread

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I agree with this until the last point... Do we know what the that Bennett was dropped from the team? My reading of it was that he opted not to ride due to feeling his knee wasn't recovered. That's when Lefevere questioned whether his knee was as bad as he was saying.
 
I agree with this until the last point... Do we know what the that Bennett was dropped from the team? My reading of it was that he opted not to ride due to feeling his knee wasn't recovered. That's when Lefevere questioned whether his knee was as bad as he was saying.
It sounds, from both sides, like Bennett has told Quickstep he can't ride the Tour due to his knee injury.

It also sounds like Lefevere would have been quite happy to have Bennett on the Quickstep team for the Tour, and is a bit annoyed to not have him.

It's quite understandable that Lefevere would be annoyed that they had put a lot of resources into getting the team ready to help Bennett win stages in the TdF this year, and to have to change plans at such short notice. It's less understandable that he would air his frustrations in public.

The only way Bennett is happy about this is if he put EU500, in November 2020, on Cav to win a stage of the 2021 Tour de France.
 
I got the (translated) impression that Lefevere was angry (even more than just "annoyed") that Bennett apparently wasn't fully transparent, even while at the same time unable to perform at 100% (which you need to be in a sprint when you're putting unbelievable stress on your knees...). And that Bennett's actions could have possibly aggravated a putatively minor injury.

Given how dominant Bennett has been in the last few years, there's no way he wouldn't take him to the Tour unless he couldn't perform physically.

I hadn't heard of any friction between the two of them, so the whole sequence of events kind of baffled (and disappointed) me.

Still, from a pure publicity standpoint having Cav there, even if he doesn't win a stage, is probably a tossup to having Bennett win multiple stages.
 
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Am I the only one who is surprised that Lampaert isn't going to the Tour? Was he always set to ride the Vuelta instead?
I expected him to be on the team instead of Declercq. The whole team looks a bit half baked to me. Not a proper sprint train, but also not a ton of support for Ala in the mountains and on the hilly stages, Asgreen will have to work double duties.
 
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I expected him to be on the team instead of Declercq. The whole team looks a bit half baked to me. Not a proper sprint train, but also not a ton of support for Ala in the mountains and on the hilly stages, Asgreen will have to work double duties.
I think their team looks well balanced and well defined. Obviously would be better if Bennett hadn't pulled out but it's best in my view to stick as closely as possible to the original plan rather than shift race schedules around at this late stage for multiple riders. Therefore Cavendish makes the most sense as a replacement. Lampaert is one of many riders who is going to be better off (personally) doing the Vuelta instead as prep for the Worlds
 
I expected him to be on the team instead of Declercq. The whole team looks a bit half baked to me. Not a proper sprint train, but also not a ton of support for Ala in the mountains and on the hilly stages, Asgreen will have to work double duties.
Declercq doing what he does best.

Cattaneo and Devenyns in support of Ala (at least on the hilly stages).

Asgreen - Ballerini - Morkov - Cav as sprint train.

Looks good and balanced to me. Ofcourse with Cav instead of Bennett you go from top favorite to underdog in the sprints so you could argue that Declercq shouldn't have to work from km 0 now and maybe Lampaert instead of Declercq would have been a better fit in the sprint train but every other team always looks to DQS to do at least a part of the work on the flat stages and I don't think that will be different with Cav, especially when/if he would somehow manage to win one of the first sprints. There's no better guy in the peloton than Declercq to do that dirty work.
 
Declercq doing what he does best.

Cattaneo and Devenyns in support of Ala (at least on the hilly stages).

Asgreen - Ballerini - Morkov - Cav as sprint train.

Looks good and balanced to me. Ofcourse with Cav instead of Bennett you go from top favorite to underdog in the sprints so you could argue that Declercq shouldn't have to work from km 0 now and maybe Lampaert instead of Declercq would have been a better fit in the sprint train but every other team always looks to DQS to do at least a part of the work on the flat stages and I don't think that will be different with Cav, especially when/if he would somehow manage to win one of the first sprints. There's no better guy in the peloton than Declercq to do that dirty work.
If I was their DS I would tell them to gamble hard about working on the flat stages. There's a lot of teams with sprinters who depend more on catching the breaks than DQS in this Tour. DQS shouldn't blink there, just play dumb and do nothing. A confusing final would probably play into Cavendish's hand anyway.
 
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If I was their DS I would tell them to gamble hard about working on the flat stages. There's a lot of teams with sprinters who depend more on catching the breaks than DQS in this Tour. DQS shouldn't blink there, just play dumb and do nothing. A confusing final would probably play into Cavendish's hand anyway.
Absolutely. It would also increase chances of Asgreen. Doing less work, and taking his chances in a few finales.
 
Yeah I agree they should use the no work approach on the flat stages but that will only work as long as Ala doesn't take yellow in the first stages (which I would think is a big goal for him) or Cav doesn't show he's a genuine contender for sprint victories.
 
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More crazy talk from the old man:

“I’m the boss. No? Clear? I sent him a message. He said he was on the bike, so I supposed he would call me after but he didn’t call me. So it says a lot more about him than me,” Lefevere said.
 
More crazy talk from the old man:

“I’m the boss. No? Clear? I sent him a message. He said he was on the bike, so I supposed he would call me after but he didn’t call me. So it says a lot more about him than me,” Lefevere said.
He's really losing it now, isn't he?
 
Though I take Lefevre’s version of events with a pinch of salt, it’s clear that Bennett has made mistakes here. However I would imagine that situations like these arise from time to time in several teams, but only a certain type of macho, vindictive leader would hang the rider out to dry in the media and harp on with increasing volume.

Perhaps he justifies it by thinking it’s necessary to maintain the team spirit and brotherhood-like sharing of spoils of the core of the team. But just look at Mourinho’s decline after his peak years with this style of man management.
 
I mean they are putting out quite a bit of Youtube content these days.

Other than that, I really start to wonder how much of Quicksteps succes over the last years has to do with Lefevre running that team or rather a great team around/just underneath Lefevre running the ship succesfuly despite Lefevre. After all Quickstep was a fairly mediocre team 10 years ago until HTC collapsed and they picked up a lot of their staff and those pushed them to modernize and adapt to modern cycling.
 
And people wonder why Lefevere always had problems finding a sponsor. The guy wants everything to go his way and he's a walking PR nightmare.
Telling the media about problems on the team is really unprofessional. He is great at running the team, but someone should keep him away from the media.
I actually like the way QS races and am a big fan of nearly all of the riders, especially Alaf, deClercq, Mauri V and Asgreen. But as to why Lefevere acts like this in public I have no idea... But I'm sure he's a big reason for the team's success, sort of a Bobby Knight guy, for those who know US college basketball.
 

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