“Not Going to Support It” – Soudal-QuickStep CEO Opposes Movistar Boss’s Vision of Shortened Grand Tour Routes and Substitutions

Published 02/08/2024, 10:26 AM EST

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Renowned figure in the cycling world, Soudal-QuickStep CEO Patrick Lefevere, has taken a firm stance against proposed changes to the prestigious Grand Tours. Speaking out against Movistar’s Eusebio Unzué’s suggestions, Lefevere boldly expresses his disapproval. The two ideas put forth by Unzué, which include the possibility of substitutions in Grand Tours and a potential decrease in race length to a mere 15 days, have sparked heated debates within the cycling community.

In an interview with the media, Lefevere vehemently rejects these proposals, asserting that shortening iconic races such as the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España would essentially eliminate their rich historical legacy. He highlights the three-part challenge of completing these epic races, solidifying their significance in the world of cycling.

Soudal-Quickstep and its stance on the future of cycling

With a career spanning decades in the world of cycling management, Lefevere’s insights carry significant weight as he critiques Unzué’s strategic vision. He argues that adversity, such as crashes and illnesses, is a fundamental aspect of the sport and serves as a true test of an athlete’s resilience.

Instead of advocating for substitutions, Lefevere supports the ethos of overcoming setbacks, comparing cycling to the grueling sport of boxing, where champions rise to the challenge despite facing adversity. He expressed doubt about the practicality of implementing a substitution system. Lefevere raises questions about how to accurately determine the severity of injuries or illnesses that would warrant a rider’s withdrawal from a race.


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“I’ve known Unzué for a long time. He means well, but he’s sometimes too agreeable,” Lefevere said. “In this case, I disagree with him. With this rule, you would wipe away the entire history of the Grand Tours.”

He also voices concerns about the potential for teams to exploit such a system, highlighting its potential for ambiguity.

Lefevere stands by the old traditional style

In his characteristic wit, Lefevere alludes to the complexities of implementing a substitution protocol, sarcastically referencing the use of video assistant referees (VAR) in football. He casts doubt on the impartiality of decision-making, humorously suggesting the involvement of “French doctors.”


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Ultimately, Lefevere’s stance reflects a commitment to preserving the integrity and tradition of cycling, rooted in the resilience and determination of athletes to overcome challenges. His vehement opposition to proposed changes underscores the importance of upholding the sport’s core values, ensuring that cycling remains a true test of endurance and fortitude.


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“No, this is going to give us a headache. I’m not going to stop this, but I’m not going to support it either. It will be for cycling after Lefevere,” said the rigid and firm Lefevere.


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Amidst the ever-changing landscape of the cycling world, figures like Lefevere offer steadfast support for tradition, valuing a sport that values grit and determination when faced with challenges.

Watch this story – Exploring the Evolution of Motor Doping in Cycling


Written by:

Allen James


One take at a time

Hey folks! I am Allen James, and I am proudly holding court as the maestro of Viral Sports! Armed with a degree in Mass Communication, and a specialization in Journalism, my journey has been nothing short of a love story with sports. From epic showdowns that set the world on fire to heart-wrenching farewells that left us all misty-eyed, my pen has danced through the most electrifying moments. But what gets my heart racing at VSM? It?s the sheer diversity of options, a playground where no single area is off-limits! With dreams of conquering the world of sports broadcasting, I?m on a quest to explore every nook and cranny.
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Edited by:

Rohan Karnad