Paris-Roubaix – Quick-Step is no longer the best team on the cobbles, Lefevere start the revolt

Where is the hegemonic quick step? The emergence of a new generation of Flanders, apparently led by Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert, has produced a team that has often been in control of the cobblestone races. In that area, 2022 is a nightmare as not only are Patrick Lefevere’s men not winning, but worse, they are not weighing. Kasper Asgreen’s 23rd place finish in the Tour of Flanders, the worst since the structure was created in 2003, has confirmed fears. The Belgian team is no longer the best in the field and ahead of Paris-Roubaix, its boss started the general revolt.

Attending a Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl press conference can sometimes feel like watching a Lefevere one-man show. To be honest, given his team’s results in the Classics (just one success at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for Jakobsen), we envisioned a very attacking manager, either defending his herd or scolding them. This was not the case, but Belgian Manitou still wanted to answer most of the questions. His first message couldn’t be clearer: “We have seven riders who have no excuses for the first time in a long time. You are not injured or sick.”


Vos, a legend greater than hell


“Assault Mode”

The answer may sound like a warning, but Lefevere clarified his thoughts: “We’re on the ropes, not totally knocked out, but not far. I can’t tell you I’m happy with the situation, but I can’t blame anyone for any injury or illness“. In short, it was about conveying to his audience that he understood why his team did not live up to expectations. Now all that remains is to put all that behind to face Paris-Roubaix this Sunday revenge.

Kasper Asgreen at Gent-Wevelgem

Photo credit: Getty Images

It is Yves Lampaert who, from the top of his seven participations in Hell of the North and his 3rd place in 2019 (5th in 2021), received the credo: “The 7 runners are in good shape. We can have a good race, we hope to be in the final with as many riders as possible to hold the cards. Let’s go into attack mode, not defend mode“. The same message for Lefevere.

We’re not used to being defensive, we’re an aggressive side. If we can be 100%, we don’t have to panic, be nervous. Over the years we’ve been strong enough to have three or four riders in the finals, hopefully we can do that this year. I don’t care who the leader is as long as he has a blue jersey.”

Küng at the level of Van der Poel, the Ganna question: the favorites of a “very, very open” Roubaix

Asgreen, leader, but…

We’ve seen blue alongside Alpecin-Fénix and Mathieu van der Poel in recent weeks, while Wout Van Aert, Christophe Laporte and the others have taken the limelight. What is the competitor’s secret of success? Lefevere has an idea: “Maybe they learned a lot from ushe smiles. It may be coincidence or bad luck, but I don’t want to complain about the same problems. It’s up to our runners to reverse the trend.”

How will Quick-Step, who worked alone for Tom Boonen and then made up his collective strength, behave this Sunday? “I don’t think I’m giving away a secret that (Kasper) Asgreen is at a very high levelthe manager continues. In my eyes he was one of the strongest drivers on the Amstel, but he was very generous. He needs to get more benefit from the work of othersThe Dane, winner of the 2021 Tour of Flanders but never successful in Roubaix, will therefore be his team’s trump card.

Seneschal and bad luck

I’m starting, so I have a chance to win‘ Asgreen smiled. I think my form has been good for the past few weeks. The races haven’t lived up to my expectations but I’m in the form I need to win.” On the side of Lampaert, Stybar and even Sénéchal, who hopes to break bad luck in the race of his dreams, we undoubtedly want to play his card. After all, against van der Poel, saving Quick-Step will probably be the number or the go through anticipation.

It was worse than hell and it was big: the summary of an epic Paris-Roubaix

As I’ve said a hundred times, I’m not talking about good or bad results before Liège“, warned Patrick Lefevere at the end. So if Julian Alaphilippe or Remco Evenepoel can still save the spring of the quick step next week in the Ardennes, the seven-piece band, which has to make friends with the hell of the north this Sunday, has a great interest in it , raise your head and let the blue and white jersey shine.


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Küng at the level of Van der Poel, the Ganna question: the favorites of a “very, very open” Roubaix


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