The possible merger between Jumbo-Visma and Soudal Quick-Step is panicking the cycling world at the end of the season. Many riders could find themselves on the transfer market despite their best efforts. Many decided to leave the ship before it sank like Florian Sénéchal, Fabio Jakobsen and Ethan Vernon. But what about the two-time world champion Julian Alaphilippe?
The TotalEnergies CEO, Patrick Pouyanné, declared for the newspaper Ouest-France: "If Julian Alaphilippe was ready to join the team’s project, he would of course be welcome." The arrival of Julian Alaphilippe in Vendée would be big for a team racing as a Pro Team, the second division of the professional circuit.
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The question of salary may be a hindrance but CEO Patrick Pouyanné seems determined to pull out all the stops, as he was clarified during an interview with the L'Equipe. "I said one day to Jean-René Bernaudeau that if he was able to get me Alaphilippe, a Frenchman, nice, who has a reputation and a positive image, I would be ready to break the bank."
More recently, the boss of the group expressed in a press release a real interest in the French champion: "Jean-René Bernaudeau has a sporting project centered around youth and training, in a predominantly French team. This is the project that TotalEnergies supports. As I have already declared as the main sponsor of the team, the personality of a rider loved by the French like Julian Alaphilippe may interest us."