Most of his career is a megalomaniac powertrip, true!I get all of that, but disagree on PL's modus operandi as I've stated all along.
His grievences with JA should not have been stated in the press as leverage against him. I'm well aware he's always been this way, but that doesn't mean one has to like it, let alone accept it as a justification. It's simply a megalomaniacal power trip.
in PL's world, Evenepoel won the Vuelta and could thus not do anything wrong (or in other words: his season was already complete before the Worlds, and the World's would be his last ride of the season.As far as preparing for Worlds is concerned, weren't Ala's travel and lodging costs picked up by the French federation? In any case, how can you expect a pro not to defend his rainbow jersey? If PL has only eyes for Evenepoel at Worlds, then he's mixing team with national interests, but this shouldn't hinder Ala's prep and ambitions. It's part of the game. Ala is a QS employee for the season, but a member of the French national team for Worlds and Olympics. That's just cycling. In the grand scheme, Ala prepares to deliver in the spring classics, then for stages at the Tour, to then use the Vuelta as prep for Worlds. So no matter the early results, his season is organized thus.
Hence Patrick's sudden turn against Ala's objectives, can only be connected to the realization, given the Frenchman's problems and setbacks, that he's spending money he'd rather channel elsewhere to invest in supporting Evenepoel. Still having the rainbow jersey adds luster to the team franchise and it's sponsors, whether it's within the home nation or not, as were the cases with Imola and Leuven. In any case, Lefebvre has created a dilemma of his own making.
For JA, things were different: because of crashes, JA hadn't shown enough in the first half of the season, and PL wanted 2 things of JA: a support role in the Vuelta, and the Italian fall classics. He was OK with JA going to the World's. When JA crashed out of the Vuelta, PL felt that JA would not be in shape for the World's and suggested him to skip the worlds and fully focus on the Italian fall classics. While half of the French team didn't go to the World's (like Bardet), JA still was, however, still very eager to go. PL shook his head as he thought it was a bad idea, and ofcourse it didn't fit his own view of how to save JA's season. As most of the times, PL was right, and even though he couldn't refuse JA to compete in the worlds, it effectively made him miss weeks of racing and a good preparation for the Italian fall classics. That's not value for money in PL's rational business mind. You call it a a turn against Ala's objectives, but it was as much common sense.
Basically, PL thinks that JA is paid too much between August and December to just focus on the World's. Alaphilippe pulled it off in Leuven, but it was clear that Wollongong wasn't going to be succesfull. PL is probably very OK with JA asking at the beginning of August if he can fully prepare for he world's, if he has a season like 2019, but not if he has a season like 2022. It has nothing to do with Remco... PL would have said the same thing about Remco, if he was injured in Spring and wanted to fully focus on the World's. PL expressed the same dislike for Evenepoel's Tokyo appearance as for JA's Worlds in Australia. So if you are trying to make this a specific Lefevere vs. JA thing, think again, please. As said, Lefevere has always very much liked the WC jersey in the team, but he has always lamented about his riders taken away by national teams for country duties.So basically what you are insinuating is that Ala should have forsaken his chances of defending his title first at Leuven and then Wollongong, simply because this conflicted with Patrick's interest in seeing Remco shine.
Obviously that's going to lead to a conflict of interests. But it's one that PL has created and publicly seminated.