"I first spoke to Remco separately and I said that those rumors about INEOS must stop" - Patrick Lefevere defiant that Evenepoel will stay with Soudal - Quick-Step

Patrick Lefevere has defiantly spoken out regarding the rumours regarding his star rider Remco Evenepoel potentially joining the INEOS Grenadiers that are growing ever louder.

"For almost a year there have been rumours that there is or was contact between Remco Evenepoel and INEOS," the Soudal - Quick-Step boss complains. "I know that the then Team Sky had already spoken to Remco a few years ago. Last year, after the World Championship, there was probably contact again with Father Evenepoel, who is Remco's manager."

Following Evenepoel's departure from the 2023 Giro d'Italia, the INEOS Grenadiers have thrived and Geraint Thomas currently holds the Maglia Rosa. With Thomas now aged 37 though and Tao Geoghegan Hart in the final year of his contract, there is potentially room for another GC rider in the team. Understandably however, Lefevere is not keen on that idea.

"I first spoke to Remco separately and I said that those rumors about Ineos must stop. Because that only causes people to be nervous," he says. "We've said we have to quell those rumors somehow. The current Ineos team boss Rod Ellingworth once sent me a message: 'If you want to get rid of Remco one day, let me know.' I sent him back that he would then have to take over the whole team."

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