“We want to win the Tour once, that remains the holy grail for us”

The formation of Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team with, among others, Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel in the ranks, sounded noticeably less positive. “This Tour is very difficult,” team boss Patrick Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. He was not pleased with the eleven cobblestone sections in stage five. “That could be good for us, but they don’t really belong in a big round.”

“A strip or two, three, okay. But eleven? That’s a lot. You can already lose the Tour there. Also the gravel … Stick to road cycling. I can understand that they are looking for sensation, but still.”


Lefevere does not mention Alaphilippe and Evenepoel and also does not think that his team has a rider for the classification. “There is a Mattia Cattaneo or something. Those guys can ride around tenth place, but who cares about that? So we’re going to win as many stages as possible.”

With that last goal in mind, Fabio Jakobsen comes into the picture. The Dutchman is the intended sprinter for the Tour. “Do I see a lot of sprint stages? Not that much, eh. A sprint or four, five. But it is the riders who make the race.”

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