"If Mathieu pulls away, we will have to go for second place" - Patrick Lefevere not optimistic of Quick-Step success in Flanders and Roubaix

Soudal - Quick-Step have had far from a perfect spring so far in the cobbles and that's not too likely to change over the coming days. Kasper Asgreen and Julian Alaphilippe lead the Belgian team, but Patrick Lefevere admits that part of the focus is already on other races where Remco Evenepoel is present.

“It is difficult to turn the situation around. I don't have a magic wand like many people think. Things are not going well at the moment, but the boys are doing their best," Lefevere said in an interview with VTM. "We are in a negative spiral and then we will have another serious accident with our caregivers. We have to be realistic. If Mathieu pulls away, we will have to go for second place - hopefully we will succeed. Anticipation will be difficult in any case, because if Van der Poel gives up 80 kilometers from the end, the race is over.”

Hence the Belgian team will have to play their cards as many other teams hope to, anticipate the World Champion. After the destruction of the Team Visma | Lease a Bike and Lidl-Trek blocks, many others enter in the fight for the podium, and perhaps Lefevere's men can surprise. “I have experienced years where things didn't go well and then we were first, second and third at Paris-Roubaix. So anything is possible," he admits.

However the team is far from the level of previous years and has much better chances of success in the Ardennes classics with Remco Evenepoel. Currently the Belgian is set to ride Itzulia Basque Country starting this Monday, so Lefevere will keep a close eye away from Flanders. "We are already looking forward to the Ardennes classics, but we cannot put all our pressure on the poor shoulders of Remco Evenepoel. Of course he's not poor," he joked.

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