Many have shared their views on the possibility of the much-rumoured Jumbo-Visma/Soudal - Quick-Step merger coming to fruition, but one man who could have more insight than most, Brian Holm believes he understands why it could be happening.
"I think that Patrick Lefevere wants it to happen. Because he wants to retire and have less to do," the former sporting director at the team between 2012 and 2022 tells Ekstra Bladet, with first-hand knowledge of the outspoken team boss of Soudal - Quick-Step's thought process regarding the deal. "He has told me that on several occasions."
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If the deal, first reported by Wielerfilts, were to come to fruition, Lefevere would take up a less hands-on role on the board of the team with Jumbo-Visma's Richard Plugge doing the day-to-day running of the merged team. “What it ends up with, I don't know,” says Holm. “Your answer is as good as mine, but there is no doubt that there are some teams talking to each other right now. It's not just Jumbo and QuickStep. Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar have also done it, I know.”
Now aged 68, Lefevere has been involved in the managing of cycling teams since all the way back in the 1980s and is widely regarded as one of the most successful men in his field. “When I myself joined QuickStep in 2012, the team should have been put together with HTC, where I came from, and it was also millimetres away from being called HTC QuickStep,” recalls Holm. “I remember that Patrick was then satisfied with the details of that agreement because he actually wanted to retire, and it has been over 10 years now, but he had no problem with not being a team owner.
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Despite him showing understanding of why the deal could take place, Holm still doesn't believe it is the right decision to make. “No I do not think so. Because there are a lot of riders who do not have an agreement in place for next season. They go and wait to see what happens," he concludes. “Every time rumours like these start, there are many riders who don't sleep so well at night.”