The Patrick Lefevere Depreciation Thread

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Somehow I can't believe Lefevere would pay more than he needed to, ever. But okay, if that's the case, I'm walking back on my words. Otherwise - no.
He actually always does when a rider gets seriously injured. He says that the team has the right to halve the wages after 3 months of inactivity and to stop paying completely after 6 months of inactivity but that he never used that option. He didn't use it with Vakoc, De Plus, Jakobsen, Evenepoel, Asgreen, ...

The only time I remember him wanting to use it was after his fall-out with Bennett but if I remember correctly Bennett made sure he had a raceday within 3 months to make sure PatLef couldn't halve his wages.

Disclaimer: I haven't checked if the rule actually exists, just quoting his words.
 
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First of all it doesn't matter whether he hasn't met his standards because it was not deliberate in any way. He had a talk about it with him, where his manager was present, but what on earth does he want Alaphilippe to do different? Maybe not go out anywhere anymore, to not catch Covid, okay, that's pretty much the only thing I could imagine where you could have some kind of influence, although that's very small.
He's effectively saying these crashes are Alaphilippe's fault and he expects better, otherwise - otherwise what? As far as I know contracts are contracts and you cannot just cut them down how he also implies concerning Asgreen. Like it's his good will he didn't do that.

Maybe they actually all have contracts which rely on a number of race days. In that case I could understand: if he was able to pay less, but did, that he gives a talk "I am not going to do that another year". That's the only option where I would understand his behaviour, if Alaphilippe was like "pay me regardless, even if the contract doesn't force you" behind the scenes.
Somehow I can't believe Lefevere would pay more than he needed to, ever. But okay, if that's the case, I'm walking back on my words. Otherwise - no.
The FIRST rule of cycling is to stay on your bike, regardless of the behind the scenes drama. If you can't, then you become a liability not an asset, no matter how talented or loved. Fall once it's the other guy's fault, fall twice it's circumstance, fall 10 times and it's your own fault. Having said that, there are other ways to get the message across.
 
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Lefevere frequently mentions results and money. And on the surface it indeed could make some sense. To look at it like that. On the other hand we can't ignore the big ellephant in the room. To reasonably conclude there is more to it than it meets the eye.
 
Lefevere frequently mentions results and money. And on the surface it indeed could make some sense. To look at it like that. On the other hand we can't ignore the big ellephant in the room. To reasonably conclude there is more to it than it meets the eye.
Of course it is boils down to money and results, but there is also the human side. Fire someone who doesn't bring the necessary results/performance, but don't make it public. Keep it between the parties involved. This isn't the case with Patrick. Evidently he suffers from megalomania. He just needs someone smarter or wiser than him to put him in his place. The trouble is that he has been given too much power, which, in the end makes you crazy.
 
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He actually always does when a rider gets seriously injured. He says that the team has the right to halve the wages after 3 months of inactivity and to stop paying completely after 6 months of inactivity but that he never used that option. He didn't use it with Vakoc, De Plus, Jakobsen, Evenepoel, Asgreen, ...
This cannot possibly be true, i don't care that he said it. I can't believe that is how employment contracts work in Europe.
I know cycling is kinda bush league, but all pro sports contracts are paid out when players are injured.
 
This cannot possibly be true, i don't care that he said it. I can't believe that is how employment contracts work in Europe.
I know cycling is kinda bush league, but all pro sports contracts are paid out when players are injured.
It's a UCI instated rule which allows teams to do so. When Bennett was suffering from Cavendishmonia in '21 he participated in the European championships in Trento so Lefevere couldn't enforce the rule.
 
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I find it quite funny to diagnose someone with megalomania, only to start a reorganisational revolution of the most successful team in the sport not even a full sentence later.
Patrick is clearly a narcisistic megalomaniac, but they are also often successful. But success doesn't mean we have to celebrate him, however his candor and wryness might be appealing to sarcastic minds. In short, he's an unsupportable royal arse, but somehow still appealing, at least to me.
 
The guy is an enigma. Seems like he can be such an *** looking from outside, yet he manages a super successful team, doesn't have much of a budget and former riders praise him
Because he successfully creates an atmosphere of animosity, of rancour towards everyone but their own team. You see it in the reactions of his riders after they win a race, Evenepoel being a current example but earlier you had Terpstra, for instance. Rancour is a great motivator.
 
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I'm not sure if I understand all of this:

"PL is an enigma"
"PL is a narcisistic megalomaniac "
"PL creates an atmosphere of rancour towards everyone but their own team"

My view:
PL is very transparent (even a bit too much), and very open in his communication. He is (on purpose) not diplomatic in his wording, because he wants no one to have any misunderstandings about what he thinks. He is narcisistic, but he's getting older and doesn't care as much about his appearance. Running a big team with limited money, he is far from megalomaniac. I would argue he is (overrationally) realistic in what he can achieve with his budget / people / riders. The only one I know PL created an atmosphere of rancour against, was Sam Bennett.
With regards to Alaphilippe: after 3 years with almost no wins, and Alaphilippe more crashing than anything, it's normal to have a good conversation and reset the mental ambitions of a rider with such a salary: you expect such a rider to be a leading example / inspiration for the whole team, and not a liability as said above...
 
Maybe the last accident could actually have been avoided with better bike handling, I don't know.
The other accidents - where could or should Ala have done anything different? He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. And one can't say it was bad positioning, he was totally reasonably positioned, at the front (second) in Strade, more in the middle of the bunch but there with lots of other top riders because it was in the middle of the race long before the final. There was no place he could go to avoid the crashes. I mean, he could ride like de Gendt, but come on, that's not reasonable for a rider like him.

If I had seen any hint that he wasn't motivated throughout the past seasons I would understand PL. But not if there's a rider who's clearly working hard and has had to deal with so many disappointments (and also pain). That's when you should support someone, or, if you are unable to, keep your mouth shut.

About the other results that he didn't get like he did in 2019, well, that's your problem as a manager, if you give a contract to a rider and the rider isn't able to perform up to your expectations, bad luck for you.
But did he ever give the impression that he didn't ride to the fullest? That he didn't try his best? That he wasn't motivated? Didn't take enough risks? He usually went for the win and if he wasn't in form to do that he usually rode for the team, as far as I can see without complaints.

(Besides, he became world champion in 2020 and 2021, and despite Lefevere trying to frame this as if it's nothing for the trade team it's a pretty nice asset to have for sponsors and fans.)

"That's just business" is a weird view on this. Lefevere's an a**, and next time he asks himself why, despite having such a successfull team, he's always looking for sponsors and not filled up with money into his hairtips, he should think about how this appears to the general public/ people who are not already fans of his. They are not in contract talks at the moment, there's nothing that Alaphilippe could change just through will, so what does he want from him? If he wants to dissolve his contract, go along and say so, Patrick. If it's just an ego-show of "I deserve better riders", please.
 
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Sep 12, 2022
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Or we can instead just ask ourselves if we would have this discussions. That is if Evenepoel wouldn't be currently riding for Soudal–Quick-Step.

IMHO no.
Don't you think they would like to have JA in their TDF team next year? JA can still go for wins in puncher races, and still help Remco.

I think Lefevere is just disappointed in the results JA got the past few years, and doesn't want to see him go if he races well. People are acting as if he really wants JA to go, but that's bs. JA said multiple times that he sees Lefevere as a father figure, and JA was like a son to him. That doesn't just change so quickly. JA could've left multiple times for way more money if he wanted. This is just being blown up by the media.
 
Lefevre may just be acting for the teams best interests.

Ala is on a big-earning contract. Him willingly leaving a year early or another team buying him out frees up funds for Soudal and Lefevre to sign better climbing support for Remco. Which is probably necessary, if they are going to the Tour in 2024 with ambition to win. He will need time and room to be able to make sure these deals happen. We know most deals are done by the end Tour, or during it, so the first conversations behind the scenes probably already starts in the spring.

Ala stance may have been to just see out his contract and then leave, but Lefevre is putting pressure on him to perform this season. Annoying him, so that he will leave early or step up and win a big race again. Win-win and Ala might leave anyway. It is really nothing personal from Patriks side, it is business. Seeing/knowing that for the foreseeable future the team must revolve around Remco and he will make sure that is what needs to happen.

Also, for all we know it may not just be injuries and illness that has troubled Ala. Maybe his numbers in training are getting worse and they can see the decline earlier than us, who are on the outside. An asset is suddenly a liability, especially if his salary takes up too much of the budget that they cant sign any better support for Remco.

Lefevre probably does not have a problem of becoming the "bad" guy, if it is for the sake of the team and he wont be sentimental about an aging rider that does not serve a purpose anymore.

Maybe it is just an act that will make other teams aware that Ala is available earlier than when his contract ends.

All this is just speculation, so dont take it as facts. Please.
 
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Lefevre may just be acting for the teams best interests.

Ala is on a big-earning contract. Him willingly leaving a year early or another team buying him out frees up funds for Soudal and Lefevre to sign better climbing support for Remco. Which is probably necessary, if they are going to the Tour in 2024 with ambition to win. He will need time and room to be able to make sure these deals happen. We know most deals are done by the end Tour, or during it, so the first conversations behind the scenes probably already starts in the spring.

Ala stance may have been to just see out his contract and then leave, but Lefevre is putting pressure on him to perform this season. Annoying him, so that he will leave early or step up and win a big race again. Win-win and Ala might leave anyway. It is really nothing personal from Patriks side, it is business. Seeing/knowing that for the foreseeable future the team must revolve around Remco and he will make sure that is what needs to happen.

Also, for all we know it may not just be injuries and illness that has troubled Ala. Maybe his numbers in training are getting worse and they can see the decline earlier than us, who are on the outside. An asset is suddenly a liability, especially if his salary takes up too much of the budget that they cant sign any better support for Remco.

Lefevre probably does not have a problem of becoming the "bad" guy, if it is for the sake of the team and he wont be sentimental about an aging rider that does not serve a purpose anymore.

Maybe it is just an act that will make other teams aware that Ala is available earlier than when his contract ends.

All this is just speculation, so dont take it as facts. Please.
I see that as a very likely scenario, only my judgement on it is completely different. If you have a rider on your payroll you no longer want for performance or strategical reasons or combined, but that rider has shown motivation and will and been working for the team but has had to deal with lots of disappointments and bad luck it is extremely bad style to try to badmouth him, annoy him, so you get rid of him before his contract is up. Just saying "that's business" doesn't work for me. Sure, many people act like that, that doesn't make it any better.
 
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