Soudal-Quick Step may be be focusing more on Grand Tours with Remco Evenepoel, but team manager Patrick Lefevere is convinced that Luke Lamperti can be a future sprinting star and Classics rider for his team.
“Watch out for the American guy. He’s fast and strong,” Lefevere said at the team’s training camp in Calpe this week.
“If my memory is good, Tom Boonen started as a sprinter and ended his career as a Classics rider. Johan Museeuw was a sprinter at Lotto and became a Classics rider on my team. I think Luke can do the same.”
The 21-year-old Lamperti is arguably the most talented new member of the 2024 Soudal Quick-Step team. Mikel Landa will provide vital support to Evenepoel in the mountains, but Lamperti appears set for the best career trajectory.
Following Fabio Jakobsen’s move to DSM-Firmenich-PostNL, Tim Merlier has become Soudal-Quick’s number one sprinter, but Lamperti’s impressive results with Trinity Racing automatically make him number two in the sprinting pecking order and will secure him selection to specific races and lead-out support from the team.
“I wouldn’t say I have the pure, pure power of the big sprinters, so the Classics could be what suits me a bit more in the future. But we’ll find out a lot more this year,” Lamperti said in Calpe.
Lamperti is keen to follow a similar career path to Boonen, Museeuw and especially Peter Sagan.
“When I first started really watching cycling, Sagan was the guy and I watched him actually go past my house. That kind of made me made me a fan,” Lamperti said.
“I liked the way he raced and everything he did in cycling and for the sport. For him to stop racing the year before I started as a pro is a shame, I always wanted to race with him, but I know him a bit.”
Lamperti and Sagan are both closely linked to Specialized. The California bike brand and its founder Mike Sinyard have always helped US riders as part of their WorldTour team sponsorship.
Lamperti lives two hours from Specialized’s California headquarters in Morgan Hill and has raced on Specialized bikes since he was a Junior, first at Lux Cycling and then Trinity Racing. He competed in motor cross as a boy and so has two-wheeled skills that have combined with physiological talents.
Lamperti does not have the braggadocio of Sagan, but he is quietly ambitious, like all sprinters naturally are. He could potentially make a quick breakthrough like Sagan did in 2010 and immediately win big.
“I think as a rider, you always put…