The explosive news that there are talks of a possible merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal - Quick-Step have taken over all kinds of headlines. Details are vague, communication is very unclear, but reactions are coming in on figures that are involved in what would be a massive event in the cycling world.
“I heard the news for the first time ten minutes ago when a teammate asked me about it. It’s a big surprise for me. In the team we’ve not spoken about it and it’s a big surprise,” an anonymous rider of the Dutch team told GCN. “Thinking logically, we don’t have any spots at Jumbo for next year. How can you put 15 riders together with Quick-Step?" Arguably, if a merger was to happen it'd most likely be in for the start of the 2025 season, with Visma not guaranteed as a sponsor for that season, and with both teams already having virtually complete lineups for the 2024 season.
"If it was with Ineos then I would think that it was possible by the numbers but with us, looking at the numbers it’s just not possible," he continued. "But you never know. That’s just my opinion. I also don’t know why the two best teams should merge. What’s the reason?” The rider also admitted that within the team very few people were actually aware of the rumours at all, Patrick Lefevere in the meantime was also very vague on his response. At the time being it is very unclear how likely it is to be a real possibility - and if so, how likely.
The Jumbo-Visma figure however does not believe that the move will go forward, and will remain a rumour as have others over the past few months including both teams, as well as INEOS Grenadiers. “Also the mentality in the two teams is different. What I learned at Jumbo is really different to how they approach riders as people, and how Richard and Patrick look at riders is really different. I can’t say it's a zero percent chance but from my perspective it’s very low.”