Patrick Lefevere: Mauro Schmid said his Garmin broke but he was really on holiday in Vegas

Soudal QuickStep boss sounds-off about the transfer market and the different forms of goodbyes when riders leave

Clock09:38, Saturday 23rd September 2023
All smiles from Patrick Lefevere as he talks about rider transfers

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

All smiles from Patrick Lefevere as he talks about rider transfers

Patrick Lefevere has penned another column in Het Nieuwsblad with the Soudal QuickStep boss opening up about the way in which riders leave teams and how the nature of goodbyes can vary from rider to rider.

There is a fair amount of turnover on Lefevere’s team this year with nine riders destined to leave and 15 riders up for contract renewal. According to Lefevere he has a heavy heart when it comes to certain riders leaving, such as Tim Declercq, who is set for Lidl-Trek in 2024.

However the team boss is unlikely to feel such sentiments for Mauro Schmid who is heading to Jayco-Alula next season.

Read more: GCN Stat Attack: Cillian Kelly reveals how Soudal Quick-Step have perfected the transfer window

According to Lefevere, the 23-year-old Swiss rider claimed that his Garmin training tool was broken following the World Championships in early August. However it was later discovered that the rider had in fact spent six days on holiday in Las Vegas, without the team’s knowledge. 

“You sometimes lose riders who sign a contract for another team. Literally in the case of Mauro Schmid, who will move to Jayco-Alula after this season,” Lefevere wrote.

“After the World Championships in Glasgow he disappeared from the radar. When our trainer Koen Pelgrim asked why his data had not been loaded into our training program, he said that his Garmin was broken. It later turned out that he had been on a trip to Las Vegas for six days. At the end of the season you spend fewer words saying goodbye.”

Lefevere also talked about the soon to depart Rémi Cavagna. The Frenchman will race for Movistar team in 2024 and is likely to have greater leadership around the Spring Classics.

According to Lefevere the rider wanted a fresh challenge but his team boss has some doubts as to whether the talented 28-year-old can step up on the cobbles of northern France and Belgium.

“We also have departures who are 'ready for a new challenge'. Rémi Cavagna said that in so many words, which in his case I also understand after seven seasons. He is close to Movistar, where he could ride for himself in the classics of the North. I have some more questions about that. I don't want to say anything bad about Rémi who has been a very valuable force, but cobblestone classics with his rider skills? I don't see it right away.”

While several riders are set to depart the Soudal QuickStep stable, there are also a number of new arrivals.

Mikel Landa will add experience and depth within the stage racing core and become a key ally for Remco Evenepoel at the Tour de France. Luke Lamperti will be the team’s second sprinter behind Tim Merlier and Lefevere is expecting Julian Alaphilippe and Yves Lampaert to step up.

“Kasper Asgreen is close to his best level, Julian Alaphilippe would like to ride the Flemish races again and I hope that Yves Lampaert will also emerge again next year. I am certainly not dissatisfied.”

Update: Following the publication of Lefevere's blog, Schmid posted a message on X (formerly known at Twitter) showing that he had ridden while in Vegas.

View post on X

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