Johan Bruyneel is a very vocal figure in cycling and has given his opinion on the possible merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal - Quick-Step. He does not believes there is a major problem with it, focusing on the riders and staff whose jobs will be on the line.
"First of all, it’s not confirmed yet so let’s wait and see if this will/can happen," Bruyneel wrote on Twitter. "Secondly, if this merger actually happens, nobody with a valid contract (both riders and staff) will be on the street. The teams will have to find a solution (at a minimum pay the remaining part in their contract and find them another team who would get a rider at no cost), or else the UCI will not give the green light for this merger."
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Whilst most have been concerned with a great deal over the possible formation of a team that can overwhelmingly dominate the sports on the men's side - outside of the Grand Tours possible too, where they have already won all three this season - Bruyneel focused more on another point which may be a problem. Both teams will have combined between 50-60 riders, and many more staff. Whilst the hypothetical chances of it happening now in 2024 are very low, they are higher for the 2025 season.
This would leave many without a team for that year but Bruyneel believes it will not be too much of a reason to concern, and riders/staff can't simultaneously be attached to the new team even if their contract currently has them in their respective squad until later years. "And I want to add to this that any rider who is under contract on the team who would forfeit or sell their World Tour license and doesn’t want to be part of this merger will be free to go to another team. Their current team would not be able to prevent this because the paying agent who the rider has signed his contract with would cease to exist," he conclude.