The Patrick Lefevere Depreciation Thread

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Ok this is a true n00b question: what does the CEO actually do? I mean since there's so many other DS how to even know the team wouldn't be better without this particular CEO? That wouldn't be the first time in history a boss is not good at being a boss?
 
there’s an element of truth to that. There’s competition from the Lotto Soudal’s and BORAs but he’s not competing with the mega budget teams for GC. his real uncontested value though is his wheeler-dealerin, just consistently getting top riders on the cheap. I think it’s mostly that which makes it worth the sponsor’s while putting up with him being a loud embarrassing ***.
There's a lot that's done right at DQS. I don't know who's exactly responsible for what at the team, how far Lefevere's influence goes, but things done well are:
  • Clear focus and identity, in regards to what the team is, where it wants to go, what their priorities and goals in races are.
  • Recruitment: Clear idea of which rider type is needed/ wanted. Instead of giving money to any available bigger or promising name there is a clear profile of the riders the team needs at a certain time. Another part of this is that money is not thrown at the biggest names, instead the helpers are really appreciated, as shown by the early contract extensions this year of Morkov and Declerq, and also the continued worth someone like Keisse has, these guys are more important to the team than most of the "star names". In general riders who are good at decision making / good road captains or strong time trialers / work horses are preferred over other talent; this rider type forms the core of the team.
  • Tactics: Sometimes they fail. But usually this is a quality of theirs.
  • Corporate identity: Although the PR side fails a bit in terms of niceness, they have a clear strategy here. Colour schemes - nickname - jersey design - ecological work (Ventoux, wolves project, emission offset)
  • Professionalism in many areas, from regular wind-tunnel work with Specialized to improve time trial performance to a permanent team psychologist who's not just a number you can call but is there at training camps and such.
  • Usually consistency with partners such as sponsors and providers of material
  • Although there is a Belgian focus the team is international and usually... doesn't hinder itself by preferring riders due to nationality.
  • Clear guidance of riders, regular training camps together, but riders are tought to make decisions for themselves and have a voice in regards to their race calendar and goals.
That was the Patrick Lefevere appreciation part.
That being said, they look quite shambolic behind the scenes at the moment, they might replace Bennett and Cavendish, but treating Almeida like that and pushing him out of the team might not have been the best decision. So far I don't think they have a replacement for him. They have spnosorship secured for the next years, but it's one main sponsor and one might wonder if PL really has problems attracting big sponsors despite being one of the most successful teams. If that is so he should ask himself why and not blame it on the riders for asking too much money... In general they are losing more this year than they have recruited for next year. Honoré made a big step forward this year. Evenepoel is fine again. Asgreen won a monument convincingly. Alaphilippe is still a guy to talk about. And Jakobsen is his old self again. But I think most big riders have a contract at this point for next season, DQS doesn't have any big signings, and maybe PL is missing out more than he liked... and the competition in the classics has gotten stiffer, especially with van Aert and AF being so top.
 
Ok this is a true n00b question: what does the CEO actually do? I mean since there's so many other DS how to even know the team wouldn't be better without this particular CEO? That wouldn't be the first time in history a boss is not good at being a boss?
I don't know what exactly he does but I'm sure he decides who he hires, and he's doing that well, in terms of riders and maybe even more so the staff behind.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan and noob
There's a lot that's done right at DQS. I don't know who's exactly responsible for what at the team, how far Lefevere's influence goes, but things done well are:
  • Clear focus and identity, in regards to what the team is, where it wants to go, what their priorities and goals in races are.
  • Recruitment: Clear idea of which rider type is needed/ wanted. Instead of giving money to any available bigger or promising name there is a clear profile of the riders the team needs at a certain time. Another part of this is that money is not thrown at the biggest names, instead the helpers are really appreciated, as shown by the early contract extensions this year of Morkov and Declerq, and also the continued worth someone like Keisse has, these guys are more important to the team than most of the "star names". In general riders who are good at decision making / good road captains or strong time trialers / work horses are preferred over other talent; this rider type forms the core of the team.
  • Tactics: Sometimes they fail. But usually this is a quality of theirs.
  • Corporate identity: Although the PR side fails a bit in terms of niceness, they have a clear strategy here. Colour schemes - nickname - jersey design - ecological work (Ventoux, wolves project, emission offset)
  • Professionalism in many areas, from regular wind-tunnel work with Specialized to improve time trial performance to a permanent team psychologist who's not just a number you can call but is there at training camps and such.
  • Usually consistency with partners such as sponsors and providers of material
  • Although there is a Belgian focus the team is international and usually... doesn't hinder itself by preferring riders due to nationality.
  • Clear guidance of riders, regular training camps together, but riders are tought to make decisions for themselves and have a voice in regards to their race calendar and goals.
That was the Patrick Lefevere appreciation part.
That being said, they look quite shambolic behind the scenes at the moment, they might replace Bennett and Cavendish, but treating Almeida like that and pushing him out of the team might not have been the best decision. So far I don't think they have a replacement for him. They have spnosorship secured for the next years, but it's one main sponsor and one might wonder if PL really has problems attracting big sponsors despite being one of the most successful teams. If that is so he should ask himself why and not blame it on the riders for asking too much money... In general they are losing more this year than they have recruited for next year. Honoré made a big step forward this year. Evenepoel is fine again. Asgreen won a monument convincingly. Alaphilippe is still a guy to talk about. And Jakobsen is his old self again. But I think most big riders have a contract at this point for next season, DQS doesn't have any big signings, and maybe PL is missing out more than he liked... and the competition in the classics has gotten stiffer, especially with van Aert and AF being so top.
They have a good performance infrastructure (trainers and other staff, equipment etc.) that allows most of their riders to perform at a higher level than what they can do elsewhere. At the end of the day, watts are king in cycling. That's not purely down to PL, the team stepped up massively since 2012 and has been far more professional in this sense since then.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan and noob
They have top training performance knowledge concentrated in the Bakala academy, they have top equipment with their specialized bikes and they have the best doctors. And they have a CEO that will go through a fire when he believes in you. What more do you want as a rider?
 
They have top training performance knowledge concentrated in the Bakala academy, they have top equipment with their specialized bikes and they have the best doctors. And they have a CEO that will go through a fire when he believes in you. What more do you want as a rider?
To not be treated like a used condom someone threw out on a wet highway just because you did something that wasn't to your boss's liking? Or that your boss doesn't try to humilitate you in the public's eye for the sake of his own ego? It's not just Bennett and Cavendish, the list of riders of his own team he bashes in the media has become quite long. And no, that's not normal, unless you set Mourinho as standard. Will go through fire, I'm also not sure of that, I think he mostly defends riders when he feels affected himself, when other people seem to want to "get to his team"/ he feels a victim himself or his own values are questioned, not because he cares much about other people.
 
To not be treated like a used condom someone threw out on a wet highway just because you did something that wasn't to your boss's liking? Or that your boss doesn't try to humilitate you in the public's eye for the sake of his own ego? It's not just Bennett and Cavendish, the list of riders of his own team he bashes in the media has become quite long. And no, that's not normal, unless you set Mourinho as standard. Will go through fire, I'm also not sure of that, I think he mostly defends riders when he feels affected himself, when other people seem to want to "get to his team"/ he feels a victim himself or his own values are questioned, not because he cares much about other people.
This.
The riders and the team feels like they are to him just like an extension of himself. And whether it's intended or not what the way he often speaks is abusive.

It's really hard to not imagine that he runs his business by fear.
 
They have top training performance knowledge concentrated in the Bakala academy, they have top equipment with their specialized bikes and they have the best doctors. And they have a CEO that will go through a fire when he believes in you. What more do you want as a rider?
To be shown an element of respect and not humiliated in the media when there's a difference of opinion or misunderstanding.
 
They have top training performance knowledge concentrated in the Bakala academy, they have top equipment with their specialized bikes and they have the best doctors. And they have a CEO that will go through a fire when he believes in you. What more do you want as a rider?
It almost reads like you are using this to justify Lefevere being a ***.

My impression only, mind you.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
This when announced Almeida was leaving.

"Afterwards, if Remco is the stronger of the two and Almeida doesn’t do what we expect him to do, his bike will go in the truck and he will quit the race. And it will be exactly the same otherwise “, concludes a Patrick lefevere determined that its leaders put the collective above all on this Tour of Italy."


"And it would be exactly the same otherwise".

I assume what he meant is that "and it would be exactly the same if the situation was reversed"?

I knew people said he did threat Almeida. But isn't this also indirectly threatening Remco? If Remco was the leader and didn't do what was expected of him...
 
Ofcourse it wouldn't be exactly the same. Evenepoel is just hired for a long time.
But stating Almeida should listen or something bad will happen, and stating the same would be applied to Evenepoel, is Lefevere's unelegant (but clear) way of saying that team strategy should always be followed and there is no room for rebels in the team.

If you look at riders joining / leaving the team, it's clear that the approach at DQS is a ruthless one: Lefevere is the main architect. He doesn't have the biggest budget, but he tries to get the most out of his (not that small) budget. This enables him to compete, on a day-by-day basis, with almost any team. In GT's it's a different story as it requires depth and longer term roles that aren't easy to fill in, especially if you don't enable riders to grow as a GT rider.

This thread has emerged as a way to express feelings, frustrations and thoughts about Lefevere, especially in the context of his spat with Sam Bennett. The thing is, we don't know everything behind the scenes. We do know that Bennett must have hit Lefevere's most sensitive nerve and Lefevere is going full tilt at the moment, probably without any remorse and not held back by his sponsors. Some sponsors, like Quickstep, are loyal and the relation with Lefevere goes further than just a business relation. As Lefevere has been hiring and sacking riders for more than 20 years, they trust him that he knows what he is doing. The question is: will riders (starting from next season) be as eager to (re)sign for Lefevere, after what happened with Bennett? I posted some reasons above why I believe they will. Every rider that is signed by Lefevere, is a rider Lefevere wants in the team. So in the first year, there is a very small chance any rider will have a problem with Lefevere. Actually, when you look at what happened with Bennett, it's an outlier. Bennett could easily be the most gentle guy in the peloton, but at the other hand, Lefevere has gone through 20+ years and 100ths of riders without any issue or problem (in the press).

I'll leave it there. I could say much more as I know a rider on the team a bit closer so I know just that little more about the team than most on here) but while I really roll eyes every time Lefevere spouts his thoughts, I don't necessarily disagree with his stance, only with the way he's communicating about it, and the (sometimes very dubious / sexist / ...) analogies he makes.
 
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I know it’s his way of doing things but all these conflicts with his soon-to-be ex riders in the media are initiated by him. It indicates a total lack of class, not to mention it constitutes mobbing and in any other business branch he would be in serious trouble with this kind of attitude. I’m not sure why nobody sues him to be honest…

And his “approach” of trashing his riders in the media is not or at least should not be an integral part of his teams success. These are merely personal vendettas that bring nothing to the table, more to the contrary…

But even if this kind of behaviour benefits the team, it is still completely unacceptable and should be rejected by the media, by the fans and by his riders.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan and noob
This when announced Almeida was leaving.

"Afterwards, if Remco is the stronger of the two and Almeida doesn’t do what we expect him to do, his bike will go in the truck and he will quit the race. And it will be exactly the same otherwise “, concludes a Patrick lefevere determined that its leaders put the collective above all on this Tour of Italy."


"And it would be exactly the same otherwise".

I assume what he meant is that "and it would be exactly the same if the situation was reversed"?

I knew people said he did threat Almeida. But isn't this also indirectly threatening Remco? If Remco was the leader and didn't do what was expected of him...
reversed in the sense that if Almeida was the leader and Remco didn't work for him.

A threat yes, but I didn't buy it. Remco is Flemish, the sponsors are Flemish, he's a huge talent. He wouldn't have been thrown out of the race, IMO. Almeida would have been, I have no doubt.
 
“I read that the negotiations between Mark Cavendish and me are difficult and that the water is deep,” Lefevere wrote in Het Nieuwsblad.

“The reality, meanwhile, is somewhat different. I will see Mark face-to-face next week when he is in Belgium for the World Championshps. It's easier to talk than on the phone. We have now reached an agreement on wages and bonuses. The only point of contention is what Mark can do after his career. He would like to remain involved with our team and that is certainly negotiable for me.”

From his own doing.

“Another possibility is that he walks with me in a management position. Mark is someone for whom doors open. He has the name and you have to give it to him: he can explain it too. Companies such as Science in Sport and McLaren have entered cycling through Mark. He also has excellent relationships with energy drink manufacturer Monster. In that role he can certainly be of value to our team, although I also say: my main sponsors are fixed until 2027. The secondary sponsors also for two or three years. We don't have a lot of space there.“

The reversal.


 
To not be treated like a used condom someone threw out on a wet highway just because you did something that wasn't to your boss's liking? Or that your boss doesn't try to humilitate you in the public's eye for the sake of his own ego? It's not just Bennett and Cavendish, the list of riders of his own team he bashes in the media has become quite long. And no, that's not normal, unless you set Mourinho as standard. Will go through fire, I'm also not sure of that, I think he mostly defends riders when he feels affected himself, when other people seem to want to "get to his team"/ he feels a victim himself or his own values are questioned, not because he cares much about other people.
Thanks for that. It's going to be really hard to get that image out of my head when I see Sam Bennett racing again.
 
Reactions: noob and Sandisfan
I just watched PL in Vive le Velo on Sporza and paid attention to what he said, and how he said it.

While there wasn't much new / worth noticing about what he said, it struck me how he said things:
He looked old and even fragile, and he talked slow with a lot of pauses, and not very sharp / witty (like he used to do in the old days). He also looked tired and uninspired, even when talking about e.g. Evenepoel.
Imho, even without all the controversy with Bennett, he looks like someone who should take a step back and make room for a younger CEO, and enjoy his retirement.

(or, instead of all above, he drank too much)
 
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I just watched PL in Vive le Velo on Sporza and paid attention to what he said, and how he said it.

While there wasn't much new / worth noticing about what he said, it struck me how he said things:
He looked old and even fragile, and he talked slow with a lot of pauses, and not very sharp / witty (like he used to do in the old days). He also looked tired and uninspired, even when talking about e.g. Evenepoel.
Imho, even without all the controversy with Bennett, he looks like someone who should take a step back and make room for a younger CEO, and enjoy his retirement.

(or, instead of all above, he drank too much)
Clearly drunk.

At one point he was talking about how he'd hate to see Asgreen go after Asgreen next Sunday...
 

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