The global financial crisis has hit Team Quick Step, general manager Patrick Lefevere admitted this week. However he is not going to let Allan Davis leave the team without a fight or a fee.
The Belgian ProTour team does not expect to sign any additional riders for the 2010 season. “We need to start the next season with 26 or 27 riders, and I don't have any hope of increasing the number of riders,” Lefevere told the Gazet van Antwerpen.
The reduced number of riders means a reduced number of races, with the month of May presenting a particular problem. “In May, the Giro, the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of California are all running almost simultaneously. We will have to skip one of these races.”
He added, “I have to fight to find the money and it still remains to be seen whether I have the money for Allan Davis.” Davis had announced earlier this month that he was leaving Quick Step since the team had not offered him a new contract.
However, Lefevere indicated that Davis had an ongoing contract with the team for the coming season.
“Already after his victory in the Tour Down Under, he asked for a new contract,” Lefevere said. “And then he told me on December 1 that he had a new team.” The Australian is rumored to have signed with Team Astana.
However, Lefevere is not about to let the Australian go that easily. “I will hold him to his contract with Quick Step. The time is finally over when I will riders leave for free.”