A Frenchman, world cycling champion at several times, could find himself without a team next season.
World champion a few years ago, a Frenchman could well find himself without a team next season, despite the odds. a contract running until end of 2024 in its current formation. In fact, it could file for bankruptcy and leave all its members destitute, without an employer and without a team for the coming year.
The Soudal Quick-Step cycling team has been looking for a sponsor and new funding for a while now. And it should finally be absorbed by the Jumbo Visma training. However, the Belgian team has more than 20 riders committed for 2024, who could therefore find themselves without a team while most of the squad is closed for next season.
Among them, the double world champion 2020 and 2021, Julian Alaphilippe. The Frenchman is coming off two disappointing seasons marked by numerous falls and injuries. If he seems difficult to find his best level, the native of Saint-Amand-Montrond displays an enviable track record, should theoretically help him to improve. find a team quickly. He notably won six stages of the Tour de France, a Milan-San Remo, three Flèches Wallonnes, a Clasica San Sebastian and a best climber jersey of the Tour, not to mention his magnificent 2019 Tour de France, during which he kept the jersey yellow until the 19th step.
It has long been question of a transfer to the French team TotalEnergies, but Julian Alaphilippe had to honor his contract with Soudal Quick-Step until then. the end of the 2024 season. Ultimately, it could therefore be that the arrival of the world champion happens more quickly than expected. Questioned on the question, Jean-René Bernaudeau, the boss of the TotalEnergies team, explained: to the Parisian: "He has an agent and I'm not going to take the first step. If the phone rings to talk about Julian, I'll see to it. at that time".
The CEO of Total, Patrick Pouyanné, had also mentioned in an interview for L'Equipe that he would appreciate recruiting Julian Alaphilippe and that a budgetary extension would not be an option. exclude if such an opportunity presented himself. Rest at see if the double world champion wants to join the Vendée team, or if other more attractive projects will be offered to him after the filing for bankruptcy of his current team. In any case, there is little chance for him to remain in the fold of Jumbo Visma after the merger, since all the contracts of Soudal Quick-Step riders should be rendered null and void.