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Wiggins: Controversial Lefevere is ‘lucky’ after early Quick-Step stage wins

Wiggins: Controversial Lefevere is 'lucky' after early Quick-Step stage wins thumbnail
Alexander Netherton

Bradley Wiggins described Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team principal Patrick Lefevere as a ‘lucky b’ as his squad has two stage wins at the Tour de France with three races gone.

The Tour started in Denmark this year with Belgian Yves Lampaert winning the opening 13.2km Individual Time Trial in Copenhagen in wet conditions.

There was another win at stage two for the team as Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to victory, which vindicated – for now at least – his inclusion ahead of veteran sprinter Mark Cavendish, who holds the records for stage wins on the Tour after a late career resurgence with the team, replacing Sam Bennett.

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Bennett’s exit came after sustained criticism from Lefevere, and Wiggins explained on the Bradley Wiggins show that the outspoken Belgian is a controversial but successful figure in cycling.

“After all the talk, Mark Cavendish not being here, which you know, was big news,” he began.

“And I think a lot of people were anticipating that coming back on Patrick Lefevere that decision, specifically, particularly with no [Julian] Alaphillipe in the team as well. And the lucky bhas come away with the prologue and stage one, which no one expected. Lampaert to win the prologue? And of course, yeah, we might have expected Jakobson to do something but to win the first two stages!”

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Wiggins continued, saying: “Patrick and his character is polarising, and upsets a lot of people. He has the team in terms of that winning mentality, [you] can’t criticise. But for other things you can.

“It was a magnificent finish.”

Current Tour leader Dylan Groenwegen has had a difficult relationship with Jakobsen since their collision at the Tour de Pologne in 2020. It was an incident which almost ended Jakobsen’s career, and he says he holds no admiration for the Dutchman any longer.

Wiggins revealed that he contacted Groenwegen at the time of the crash.

“I remember reaching out to Dylan Groenwegen two years ago, during COVID, when he had that, because I actually felt for him two years ago because he was getting a lot of death threats, and obviously he was getting a lot of the blame admitted to him for that crash,” he said.

“And rightly or wrongly, I think this was as a human at the end of it. I spoke to his wife and him a few times, and they were really pleased that I contacted him, because not many people had contacted them.”

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Stream the Tour de France live and on-demand on discovery+. You can also watch all the action live on eurosport.co.uk.

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