“Once again there is an episode about a merger for Decolef (Soudal - Quick-Step's company name, ed.). Will this actually become concrete? A merger between Decolef and Richard Plugge's team would have catastrophic consequences for the economics of professional cycling," Gilbert said in a Twitter post.
The basis for the former pro's comments are based on the idea that having a team as strong as it seems to be suggested if the two squads were to get together, it would see less motivation from other teams to invest money in cycling, as most likely the Dutch team would accumulate even more victories and success.
Currently as it stands, the difference between 2nd and 3rd place teams in the UCI rankings (Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers) is superior to that between 3rd and 21st (Astana Qazaqstan Team). The difference in quality when it comes to the stage-races is already massive between these two and the rest of the field, and into 2024 it seems as if it will only grow as both teams continue to sign big figures.