Deceuninck-Quickstep manager Patrick Lefevere is many things.
He’s bombastic, loud, indignant, provocative, outraged, dismissive, hot-headed, funny — and always good for a quotable nugget.
In short, we propose a new nickname for Lefevere that captures his social media persona: Patrick LeFever.
You know when LeFever’s fingers tap open the twitter app on his phone, that sparks are going to fly. Love him or hate him, there’s never a dull moment.
LeFever was on full display with this week as he discussed a number of subjects. He was fired up about the UCI’s historic inability to protect riders and make race courses safer.
In particular, he’s still infuriated by what Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) did to his sprinter Fabio Jakobsen in the Tour de Pologne. Jakobsen was pushed into the barriers and suffered a long list of severe injuries.
Given LeFever’s flair for the theatrical, his fix for making races safer is both bold and intuitive. “I want independent experts to judge [sprints]. I propose that we make the dirtiest sprinter in history head of the body – the best rangers have often been poachers first,” said LeFever. That’s classic Patrick with a wonderful analogy.
He followed that up with a bit of logic that seems to always escape the UCI and their endless safety panels and study groups. “The experts have to come from the peloton because anyone who has never ridden a bicycle cannot judge what is dangerous and what is not.” Truer words were never spoken.
Speaking of his rider Jakobsen’s long, painful recovery, LeFever showed off his trademark wit and gift for understatement. “Fabio has a lot of scars on his face – he won’t be Elvis Presley anymore, but knowing where he has come from it’s an after thought.” You just can’t go wrong with an Elvis reference.
LeFever turned philosophical as he mused about how soon Jakobsen could return to racing and under what circumstances. “Jakobsen has had his jaw reconstructed and will need extensive dental implants. It’ll take another three months for new teeth to be placed. Maybe he can race without teeth before then,” said LeFever.
Yes, shades of Zdenek Stybar, another of LeFever’s top riders who knocked three teeth out in the Eneco Tour back in 2014. A year later in the Tour de Flanders his temporary bridge came loose but he kept racing over the cobblestones.
So when LeFever says you can race without choppers, he speaks from experience. Yes, you just can’t invent a man life Patrick LeFever. He’s the social media gift that never stops giving.