Lefevere on Omega Pharma Quick Step team: ‘I have not seen men with balls’
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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lefevere on Omega Pharma Quick Step team: ‘I have not seen men with balls’

by VeloNation Press at 6:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team manager reacts to Scheldeprijs disappointment, Cavendish wants Boonen in Tour de France

Patrick LefevereSpeaking after Mark Cavendish narrowly missed out on winning what would have been a record fourth Scheldeprijs title yesterday, Omega Pharma Quick Step general manager Patrick Lefevere has blasted the rest of the team for what he states was a lack of support for the sprinter in the finale.

While the team rode hard early on, Cavendish was essentially left to his own devices as the sprint unfolded. He was out of position and while he came from a long way back, he ran out of time before the line.

While Cavendish was reluctant to criticise his team-mates afterwards when giving a post-race TV reaction, Lefevere didn’t hold back when asked for his opinion.

“I’m not happy,” he said, according to Sporza. “Just about everything went wrong, like the whole year already.

“The train is just not there. I have not seen men with balls. There are a few who could be better, but for fear. ‘Fear of failure’ I call it.

“A few riders must realise that you do not have to race with Omega Pharma Quick Step if you are afraid to do the final kilometre. In that case you need to go to Accent Jobs-Wanty,” he stated, referring the smaller Belgian team.

“Do I need to buy a lot of new riders next year, maybe?”

Cavendish has clocked up seven victories this year and has received good support from his team in many races. However there have also been times where the leadout train has either got things wrong or been absent altogether.

He was clearly upset after the finish yesterday, looking stunned at how things played out. However while the Sporza TV interviewer tried repeatedly to get him to speak out on the subject, he remained guarded in his responses.

“I don’t know,” Cavendish said, when asked what consequences the sprint would have. “I don’t know. We ride so well. The whole day we ride so, so well, until the last kilometres, you know, and… I don’t know…”

Pressed again for an explanation, Cavendish became annoyed. “Are we going to talk about something else please, is that okay?” he asked.

He was more open when asked if he hoped to have Tom Boonen by his side in the Tour. The Belgian has suggested that he is unlikely to ride but, given that his Classics season has been ruined by injury, there is an increased chance that he will be required to head to France in July and to both chase results himself and also to help Cavendish with his lead-outs.

“I would absolutely love Tom in the Tour de France, I would love that more than anything,” said Cavendish, when asked about the matter. “He’s had a lot of bad luck. Hopefully he gets some time to relax, he can come back fit and we can go with a strong team to the Tour de France.”

Lefevere won’t be happy to wait until then to get the sprint train right; he wants to see changes right away. “I can’t blame Iljo Keisse and Martin Velits, but the rest of the team was not there. Steegmans and Maes still should have been around Mark in the end.”

Steegmans described the finale as ‘devastating,’ in terms of how things didn’t work out. He said that he was blocked in the finale and while Cavendish found a gap with 300 metres to go, that he himself didn't have a chance to get into position and help the Manxman.


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