“When I see what my words have caused. That was certainly not the intention” - Patrick Lefevere regrets speaking publicly about Julian Alaphilippe

It has been a disruptive week for Soudal - Quick-Step ahead of Opening Weekend, following comments in the press from the team’s general manager Patrick Lefevere about two-time World Champion Julian Alaphilippe and his partner Marion Rousse.

The Belgian team boss claimed in an interview with Humo that Alaphilippe had been drinking too much and that it could have been a result of his relationship with Rousse, as he said “too many parties, too much alcohol… Julian is seriously under the influence of Marion Rousse. Maybe too much”.

The former French rider and current race director of the Tour de France Femmes hit back at Lefevere on social media, telling him to “show a little more respect and… class”.

Now in an interview with VTM, Lefevere has said that he regrets his choice of words, as he said “do I have any regrets? Well, when I see what my words have caused. That was certainly not the intention”.

Lefevere hopes that all parties involved can now draw a line under the incident, as he stated that “I can move past all this and I hope Julian can too. Hopefully, he sees it that way too. Tomorrow is a new day and we won't talk about this anymore”.

This drama is the last thing that the team needed ahead of what is a very important Spring for Soudal - Quick-Step, following two underwhelming Classics campaigns over the past couple of years for the Belgian team.

Alaphilippe is set to play a key role in the Classics, but with his contract up at the end of the year, could this be the final nail in the coffin to convince the Frenchman to leave the team after over a decade with the Wolfpack?

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