Soudal-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere has confirmed his team roster for 2024 is up to the minimum requirement of 27 riders to compete at WorldTour level after signing a ninth new rider in recent days.
Under UCI rules, all rider contracts must be approved by the WorldTour auditors before December 1. Soudal-QuickStep has signed a number of neo-pro riders for 2024 and so can have a maximum of 30 riders. However Lefevere appears to be limiting his investments in new riders for 2024 after the much-discussed merger/takeover with Jumbo-Visma failed to happen.
Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen remain as team leaders but Fabio Jakobsen, Andrea Bagioli, Ethan Vernon, Michael Mørkøv, Florian Sénéchal and Davide Ballerini have all moved on, weakening the core of the Belgian team.
Mikel Landa is the only major signing for 2024 as Evenepoel makes his debut at the Tour de France, while the USA’s Luke Lamperti is considered a future talent for the Classics.
Lefevere spoke about his 2024 roster at the Flandrien end-of-season Gala in Ostend where Remco Evenepoel missed out on the top men’s prize to Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck). While Evenepoel enjoys a holiday in the USA, Lefevere is busy preparing for the 2024 season.
“Winter is never quiet. When the season is over for the riders, then my season starts,” Lefevere told Sporza.
“I sometimes look at Instagram jealously. I see one rider staying in earthly paradises and doing everything that I may no longer be able to do at my age, such as jet skiing. Then I’m here in Belgium…”
Lefevere has been busy answering his phone as he completed the 2024 Soudal-QuickStep roster.
“It had escaped my attention that all the agents could see on a certain website that we were still short of a rider. I’ve been bombarded with requests in recent weeks,” said Lefevere.
“The 27th spot has been filled since this weekend. I’m going to keep that rider’s name to myself for a while because I don’t know whether he has already communicated it to his team this year. In any case, he was at the end of his contract with that team.”
Soudal-QuickStep cancelled an end of season get-together when the Jumbo-Visma merger/takeover was still an option but the riders and staff are expected to gather next week to plan and prepare for 2024.
“Remco left for a trip to America after the Tour of Lombardy. If everything goes well, he would now be doing tests in the wind tunnel at Specialized together with Kasper Asgreen, among…