Lefevere hating on Sky and Sagan

Pat gets petty

As anyone who follows the sport of pro cycling knows, Patrick Lefevere has no shortage of opinions and no compulsion to hold back on expressing them.

He likes the inflammatory statement, the contrarian view and all the better if the backhanded slap doubles as a tribute to his team and his skills as a manager. Nobody questions his track record but there’s a self satisfied, blowhard quality to the man.

The Quickstep Floors boss threw out a few zingers, along with Paul De Geyter, the Lotto-Soudal CEO, in an interview with Belgian broadcaster Sporza. First, they both unaccountably trashed three time World Champion Peter Sagan.

That was odd and petty and pointless but away they went. De Geyter thinks Saga is “Too artificial. It seems like he’s coming out of a booklet.” Then he went even further: “I don’t believe that just after you won a World Title you think about the refugees in your country.” De Geyter must be one of those old school and incredibly one dimensional people that simply can’t image having a single thought outside of sports.

Patrick Lefevere continued the Sagan-bashing theme. “He’s a good rider. He is managed by a marketing agency, but the public is swallowing that.” Seems to us that Sagan has enough personality that he doesn’t need a marketing agency. In fact, Sagan is the only star in pro cycling with any appeal outside the narrow world of pro cycling. He’s got more style and panache than anyone in the peloton by a factor of one thousand.

However, De Geyter and Lefevere would rather have Philippe Gilbert than Sagan and used the interview to flatter the Quickstep Floors rider. Not surprising that Lefevere talks up his own rider but taking some shots at Sagan seems lame.

Once the two men has disposed of Sagan, they moved on some snark about Team Sky’s budget and methodology. “It is an unequal struggle, but I don’t see any more smiling faces there than on our team. We are a family, Sky is more like a factory,” said Lefevere. “With us, things are more human and it tastes differently.”

That played nicely into the accepted narrative of a team filled with Skybots. Nobody will argue that Sky’s massive budget gives them an unfair advantage. But Lefevere wasn’t quite done. After the “factory” diss, he went even bigger, going full Orwell on Sky: “Big brother is watching you.”

We suspect most people in the sport simply roll their eyes when Lefevere opens his mouth. They’ve long since stopped paying attention, just giving a dismissive wave of the hand and a “Well, that’s Pat.”

It’s a long off-season so we can expect Lefevere to make a few more bombastic comments before the racing begins again. Who’s the next target?





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