Patrick Lefevere: “I hope Chavanel wins and Gilbert dies on his wheel”
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Friday, September 23, 2011

Patrick Lefevere: “I hope Chavanel wins and Gilbert dies on his wheel”

by Ben Atkins at 1:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Quick Step manager wants the road title to add to the time trial, although he only has three riders in the race

patrick lefevereQuick Step manager Patrick Lefevere is enjoying the warm glow of having signed the new World time trial champion. Germany’s Tony Martin agreed terms with the team, which will be called Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2012, before the World championships began, and will now be bringing his new rainbow jersey with him. Even though he only has three riders in Sunday’s race, Lefevere wants the road title to match Martin’s time trial one, even if that means rooting against his home nation.

The three men from Lefevere’s team will be Kevin De Weert of Belgium, Niki Terpstra of the Netherlands and Sylvain Chavanel of France, and it is the latter that the West-Fleming will be putting his hopes behind.

“I hope that Sylvain Chavanel is World champion and Philippe Gilbert dies on his wheel,” Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. “I’m sorry for our country, but it’s the Frenchman who rides with me all year. I know his value. It would be the pinnacle after his second place in the Tour of Flanders, his French title and a few days leader's jersey in the Vuelta.

“He is, beside Boonen, Martin and Leipheimer, one of my crown jewels in 2012,” he added.

With the junior women’s and under-23 men’s races both ending in bunch sprints, there is every indication that the remaining races will follow suit; particularly as so many of the big nations have built their teams around their big-name sprinters. For one of Lefevere’s men to take the title then, it will mean that he will have to foil the sprinters’ teams with a successful breakaway.

“Kevin De Weert will be road captain for the Belgians, but I don’t think he is the World champion. The Dutchman Terpstra would need to put in the same attack as in Geelong last year, or probably from a little further out.”

Rebuilding the team for 2012

Not only will Quick Step take on a new name sponsor for 2012, but the appearance of the team will change greatly with a number of big-name signings. After a less than spectacular year, where the Belgian former super-team currently sits sixteenth out of eighteen teams in the International Cycling Union (UCI) WorldTour, the new signings should bring more success to the team, he hopes.

“It was a weak year, so [Martin’s] World title of feels good,” Lefevere said. “Martin only starts riding for me on January 1st but I’ve received thirty congratulatory text messages. They like to congratulate the choice I made.”

“Time trialling was our weakness last year,” he added. “With Martin, [Levi] Leipheimer [Bert] Grabsch and [Michal] Kwiatkowski that will change. Martin is clearly a good investment.”

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