Quick-Step and the Tour of Belgium at odds
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Friday, May 08, 2009

Quick-Step and the Tour of Belgium at odds

by Steve Jones at 7:11 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Belgium
 

Apparently there is trouble brewing between Belgium's number one team - Quick-Step - and the Tour of Belgium.

The Tour is set to begin on May 27th, and even though Quick-Step leaders Tom Boonen and Stijn Devloder could take a start in the race, neither rider has the race in their program.

This hits the race organizers especially hard since Boonen and Devolder are the biggest cycling names in the country, and their presence would be sure to draw in the crowds. Boonen won the race in 2005, and to further complicate matters, Devolder's absence would mean that the race would be without its defending champion.

It has been reported by nieuwsblad.be that this situation has caused bad blood between race organizer Rob Discart and Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere. They are scheduled to meet next week to discuss the situation.

Now whether Lefevere and the riders will agree to modify their race schedule is another question indeed.

How should teams approach this situation?

On the one hand you have a race that will be more successful if the high profile riders show up, and on the other hand you have riders choosing the races that will best position them to achieve their season goals.

It's a catch 22.

If you support the race by sacrificing your preparation it's great for the race organizers, but without results in the key races you risk your team securing sponsorship for the following year. In some cases I'm sure teams and organizers can find a happy medium, but in others there is no doubt one doesn't exist.

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