Lefevere proposes Belgian super team
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Friday, May 28, 2010

Lefevere proposes Belgian super team

by Ben Atkins at 9:27 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Quick Step boss dreams of merger with OmegaPharma-Lotto

patrick lefevereJust days after Quick Step’s Belgian champion Tom Boonen called for greater reinforcement of his team, his director sportif has come up with a possible solution. In an interview with Belgian newspaper Le Soir, Patrick Lefevere proposes a coming together of the two Belgian ProTour teams Quick Step and OmegaPharma-Lotto.

“A great merger,” said the Belgian, “I think that’s the only option that will keep Belgian cycling at the top in the future. All the major players together: Lotto, Quick Step and OmegaPharma.”

“Add Eddy Merckx to that list,” he continued, “it can’t happen without him, he is the key to our sport. That way we can build a team with a budget of 15 million euros; that way we can compete.”

The potential for getting a combining so many big names onto one jersey could be a daunting prospect for some; not for Lefevere though, as he remembers his own previous super team of the 1990’s. “The big Mapei team was a fusion of Italian, Spanish and Belgian sponsors and it worked perfectly,” he said.

Right now the Quick Step and OmegaPharma-Lotto teams are big rivals and battle against each other in the big Belgian races. Instead of this Lefevere would like to see all Belgians working together for the benefit of Belgian cycling, as well as investing in its future. “The best Belgian riders in one team has long been a dream of mine,” he continued, “and to make sure we have two smaller teams for youth; young Belgian talent I want to develop.

“Imagine Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert in the same team!” he enthused. “I dream of it now, these two could win all of the spring classics.”

A merger between the two big Belgian ProTour teams, with a smaller team to develop young riders, could be similar to the current situation in the Netherlands, where the Rabobank team is the country's sole ProTour team and has an under-23 team that rides smaller races. Boonen and Gilbert are very good friends, both of whom live in Monaco, and often train together; the prospect of having the two classics stars racing side by side is an exciting one.

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