Soudal-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere has welcomed Gianni Moscon to his team for 2024, saying he prefers riders with character than a sheep who just follow along and say yes to everything.
In turn, Moscon has said he is the happiest person in the world after being given a chance to resurrect his career after two difficult years with Astana Qazaqstan.
The two will meet in person and get to know each other during the first Soudal-QuickStep in Belgium early next week. Moscon will also meet Evenepoel and his new teammates for 2024 as Soudal-QuickStep begin to plan for the season ahead.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better team, this is the start of a new moment in my career,” Moscon promised La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I was starting to think that I couldn’t find another important team, and was thinking about quitting or taking a year out.”
Soudal-QuickStep named Gianni Moscon as the 27th and last rider for their 2024 roster, with the Italian expected to ride the Classics and perhaps help Remco Evenepoel at the Tour de France.
“I just want to get back to my best. I’ve signed for just a year with the idea to fight back. It’s a new start, and I’ll be part of one of the best teams in the peloton,” Moscon said.
“I like Remco Evenepoel, he talks straight. I think that’s a good quality to have.
“When I was with Sky, Ineos and Astana, I always watched what QuickStep did because they were an example to follow. They know how to race.”
Het Laatste Nieuws described Moscon as ‘controversial’ due to the number of incidents during his career, with one unidentified rider telling Nieuwsblad that “90 percent of the peloton doesn’t like him.”
Moscon’s rap sheet includes the racial abuse of Kevin Reza at the 2017 Tour de Romandie, expulsion from the 2018 Tour de France for aiming a punch at Élie Gesbert, and disqualification from the 2020 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne for dumping a bike on Jens Debusschere in the heat of the moment after a crash.
Yet Lefevere appears confident of controlling Moscon. “It is up to us to guide him well,” Lefevere told Nieuwsblad.
“Moscon may have a short fuse, but I hope he has learned his lesson. I don’t think you should agree to everything. If someone hits you in the head and you don’t hit back, well…”
“I prefer someone with character than a sheep that bleats ‘yes.’”
Moscon last impressed in major races at Paris-Roubaix in 2021, when he made a long-range attack only for a…