Remco Evenepoel and Wout van Aert linked to Bora-Hansgrohe for 2025

German media reports that the Red Bull-owned German team could be on the market to sign both Evenepoel and Van Aert to bolster squad for next season

Clock12:06, Tuesday 16th January 2024
Remco Evenepoel (left) and Wout van Aert (right) have been teammates on the national level, but never as part of the same trade team

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Remco Evenepoel (left) and Wout van Aert (right) have been teammates on the national level, but never as part of the same trade team

Soon to officially own 51% of Bora-Hansgrohe, Red Bull is seemingly not hanging around with its plans to revolutionise the German WorldTeam team, with the German media heavily linking Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike) with moves to the side in 2025.

Both riders have contracts until 2026 with their respective teams, but with an annual turnover nearing €10 billion, this may not be such a problem for Red Bull.

On January 26, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority is expected to ratify the takeover of Bora-Hansgrohe's parent company (RD pro cycling GmbH & Co KG and RD Beteiligungs GmbH) by drinks company and marketing megalith, Red Bull.

Het Nieuwsblad indicates that the team's current budget is €25 million, but Red Bull's takeover will surely bolster their kitty and be an incentive for Bora-Hansgrohe to close the gap to the likes of Visma-Lease a Bike and UAE Team Emirates.

Read more: Red Bull acquires controlling stake in Bora-Hansgrohe

The team have, of course, added Primož Roglič to their ranks for 2024, but according to the well-known cycling database Firstcycling, upwards of 20 of their riders are out of contract at the end of 2024.

This includes the likes of Aleksandr Vlasov, Lennard Kämna, Emanuel Buchmann, Jai Hindley, Sergio Higuita and Bob Jungels - all of whom will be earning good money and could be team leaders on any given day. Whilst some of these may be retained, their exits could open the door for Bora-Hansgrohe to make a statement of intent with the acquisitions of Evenepoel and Van Aert in the winter.

Van Aert and Evenepoel make sense for Bora-Hansgrohe

At first glance, it may appear fanciful to imagine Bora-Hansgrohe signing two of the world's best riders in the same transfer window, but links between the pair and the team are long-established and German media agencies DPA and Kicker are both now reporting that the signings could happen ahead of 2025.

For Van Aert, the link is obvious, given the rider's long-term contract with Red Bull that has seen the Belgian ride with a Red Bull helmet since 2018. At first, this was just in cyclo-cross races, but Van Aert soon began sporting the Red Bull colours on the road and even gestured a celebration in an ode to the company at the 2022 Tour de France.

There were rumours that Red Bull footed the bill for Roglič's arrival this past off-season, but team manager Ralph Denk strongly denied this in a discussion with GCN in October.

Denk remains as team manager but will be without a controlling stake come the end of the month if the Red Bull deal is finalised, and Van Aert's partnership with Red Bull certainly gives an indication that the Belgian could follow in the footsteps of his former Visma-Lease a Bike teammate in the future. Such a move would see Van Aert reunite with coach Marc Lamberts, who made the switch to Bora-Hansgrohe alongside Roglič in the winter.

Read more: Wout van Aert forced to change coach as Primož Roglič takes Marc Lamberts to Bora-Hansgrohe

As for Evenepoel, the former Vuelta a España champion has a personal contract with Bora-Hansgrohe's bike manufacturer Specialized, and Kicker reports that the Belgian has already been lined up as the team's long-term GC successor to Roglič.

It must be noted that Specialized also supplies the bikes to Evenepoel's current Soudal Quick-Step team, but the American company was linked to the rumoured Visma-Soudal merger on the basis of Evenepoel's involvement, and the former world champion has long been a target of Denk.

When Quick-Step faced an uncertain financial future in 2021, Denk approached Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere to do a deal for Evenepoel's services. This exchange left a bitter taste in Lefevere's mouth, who took the recent Cian Uijdtedebroeks palaver as an opportunity to hit out at Denk on X (formerly Twitter).

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With Bora-Hansgrohe's interest in Evenepoel dating back to 2021 and Van Aert's long-term partnership with Red Bull, all signs point to the possibility of both riders moving in the direction of the German WorldTeam in the future.

Whilst there is a lot of water to run under the bridge between now and the end of 2024, the DPA and Kicker reports will certainly have supporters fantasy booking a Bora Grand Tour squad consisting of Roglič, Evenepoel and Van Aert in the future.

To keep up with all the latest news and reports from the cycling season, be sure to check out the GCN News page. Neither Remco Evenepoel nor Wout van Aert have begun their road campaigns, as of yet, but a full racing calendar can be found here.

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