"Rest assured, discussions also exist on our side" - Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team refute claims Valentin Paret-Peintre has signed for Soudal - Quick-Step

One of the stars of the 2024 Giro d'Italia, Valentin Paret-Peintre is in his contract year at Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team. As such, rumours are floating that the Frenchman is on his way to support Remco Evenepoel at Soudal - Quick-Step.

According to Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team's Julien Jurdie however, any deal being signed for the Giro d'Italia stage winner is just as likely as the 23-year-old re-signing with his current employers. "It's part of the game, there's no problem. Valentin is at the end of his contract, the agents are doing their job. A rider at the end of his contract who has results, that catches the eye," he explains in conversation about the rumours with Cyclism'Actu.

"After his excellent Giro, it is completely logical that certain teams can inquire with him and his agent. He is free, so discussions can exist," Jurdie continues, although as mentioned, he too is keen for discussions and wants to keep Paret-Peintre with the team if he can. "But rest assured, discussions also exist on our side, we remain very attentive. Discussions with Valentin are very well advanced and we firmly hope that he will still be with us next year."

Soudal - Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere previously admitted in his column for Het Nieuwsblad that a deal was indeed being discussed with Paret-Peintre. The outspoken Belgian also expressed his embarrassment that things had so quickly become public knowledge however. “A bit embarrassing: I haven't even informed my team leaders yet and yet Paret-Peintre's transfer is already in the newspaper,” Lefevere fumed in his column. “Let me neither officially confirm nor deny: nothing has actually been signed yet, but I am not happy about such a leak to the press."

"Since it is in a Belgian newspaper, I suspect the source is in our team. And then I would have expected more discretion,” Lefevere concluded. “Paret-Peintre immediately confirmed 'Lefevere's law'. It is almost unbelievable, but every rider we approach spontaneously starts winning races. In this case a stage in the 2024 Giro d'Italia. You only have to be half a businessman to understand that the asking price will now almost immediately increase.”

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