Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Lefevere: If we don't race this year, I'll no longer have a team
'Team Ineos are sitting on a mountain of money, and the French are getting part of their wages paid back by the state'
Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere has told the Belgian media that if there ends up being no more racing this year due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, he may not be able to keep his team afloat into 2021.
"If we don't race this year, I'll no longer have a team," Lefevere told Sporza.be TV show Extra Time Koers on Wednesday.
"Fifty per cent of the teams will disappear from the peloton," he said. "Team Ineos are sitting on a mountain of money, and the French are getting part of their wages paid back by the state. They will have fewer difficulties, but my team will be in trouble.
"I'm not stupid," continued Lefevere. "I am an accountant by training, and have been in the trade for 40 years. If there is no racing anymore, many cycling teams will die."
The announcement of the new UCI calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season, starting with the men's and women's Strade Bianche on August 1, has prompted mixed reactions from the cycling world, with some pessimistic about how many races may really be able to take place, and others simply excited about the prospect of a retrun to racing.
"I'm known as the most critical person in the cycling world," Lefevere said. "But I will not complain about the calendar. In the current circumstances, we should be humble and pray that we can still race this year."
According to Het Nieuwsblad, Lefevere also said that the team was still intending for Remco Evenepoel to make his Grand Tour debut at this year's rescheduled Giro d'Italia, which is set to run from October 3-25 – even though it's now clear that it will clash with another of his original goals, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which now has an overlapping date of October 4.
"We'll stick to the plan of Evenepoel riding the Giro, so he'll drop racing Liège. It's a pity, but he's only 20 years old. If he was 37, then it might have been a bigger deal," Lefevere said.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.