"I thought Patrick Lefevere was drunk to be honest" - Geraint Thomas stunned by public criticism of Julian Alaphilippe from Quick-Step boss

Patrick Lefevere sent the cycling world into a frenzy last week when he went public once again with more criticism of one of the stars of his Soudal - Quick-Step team, Julian Alaphilippe. One man watching the drama unfold in amazement was Geraint Thomas.

Lefevere publicly criticised the former two-time world champion, alleging Alaphilippe spends too much time partying and drinking alcohol. “It was bonkers, that, wasn’t it?,” the Welshman reflects disbelievingly via his own Geraint Thomas Cycling Club Podcast alongside co-host Tom Fordyce.

“To be fair, I’ve got a lot of respect for Patrick. What he’s done over the years with Quick-Step is unbelievable: the results they’ve got, the results they’ve had, the way they ride, it’s incredible the team and the success they’ve had, so so much respect for him,” Thomas continues. “But recently with these sorts of outbursts, it’s just a bit weird. For a team boss with so much history and respect from people to just sort of… losing the plot in public, basically isn’t it, it’s mental. With Sam Bennett he had this thing and now Alaphilippe.”

Although someone who has never had such issues with any team boss in the past, Thomas has a lot of empathy for those shamed so publicly by Lefevere. “As a rider, I feel sorry for my fellow riders, you know?,” Thomas says. “I know Sam well, less well than Julian, but it’s just crazy the situation, it shouldn’t be done in public. Whatever his thoughts like that, just deal with it behind closed doors.”

“Although I do like a little bit of public criticism, if it’s good for that person. Warren Gatland is a bit like that isn’t he," Thomas continues, referencing the well-respected coach of the Welsh National Rugby Team. "If he knows it’s going to get the best out of someone he’ll not rip them to shreds, but just a little like ‘oh yeah he didn’t have the best game'."

“But this was just like… I thought Lefevere was drunk to be honest," Thomas concludes. "Maybe he was, I don’t know. It can’t be nice having that in public, the talk of the town and not in a good way. So I’m hoping for a great year, it would be great to see him (Alaphilippe ed.) back.”

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