In an interview with La Dernière Heure on Saturday, Patrick Evenepoel said that he “could not confirm” that his son would remain with Soudal-QuickStep next season, even though he has a contract with Lefevere’s team until the end of 2026. Patrick Evenepoel added that there had been contact with five other teams.
Those comments drew a firm response from Lefevere, who hinted at possible legal action when he spoke to reporters at the World Championships in Glasgow.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Clásica San Sebastián a week ago, Evenepoel had dismissed ongoing rumours of a possible transfer to Ineos as “bullshit” and he called for silence from both his father and Lefevere when he spoke to Sporza ahead of Sunday’s World Championships road race in Glasgow.
“I personally think that everyone should be silent,” Evenepoel said. “They should just let me do it. I know best myself what can and can’t be done. Both my dad and Patrick would be better off keeping quiet.”
Evenepoel conceded his rainbow jersey to Mathieu van der Poel after placing 25th in Sunday’s race, but he will have another tilt at a world title when he tackles the individual time trial on Friday. The Belgian will then resume his preparation for the Vuelta a España, where he is seeking to defend the crown he won in 2022.
It is expected that Evenepoel will be flanked in Spain by many of the same riders who formed part of his supporting cast at the Giro d’Italia in May. Evenepoel abandoned the Giro d’Italia while wearing the maglia rosa after contracting COVID-19.
Speaking to VTM this weekend, Lefevere defended Soudal-QuickStep’s ability to help Evenepoel win more Grand Tours and he expressed dismay at Patrick Evenepoel’s comments to La Dernière Heure.
“Last week Remco said that the ‘bullshit’ has to end. Barely a week later, his father says the opposite. The Evenepoel family must harmonise the violins,” Lefevere said.
“Our team is taking steps in all areas. The consequences of a possible departure are incalculable, for him and for us. I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes. If you don’t respect your contract, you get sued. It’d also be a disaster for our sponsors.”