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Could Tom Boonen replace Patrick Lefevere at Deceuninck-QuickStep?

Lefevere touts former rider as a potential replacement but admits he has a few more years left in him yet

Joe Robinson
5 Dec 2019

Patrick Lefevere has highlighted Tom Boonen as a potential replacement for when he retires as team manager at Deceuninck-QuickStep. The veteran team manager was speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laaste Nieuws at the Kristallen Fiets Awards when he pointed out former rider Boonen as a good fit.

'I have read that Tom Boonen is interested. He has also said it, this isn’t the first time. Tom could, with his flair and charisma,' Lefevere said.

'I have a contract that ends in December 2021, with a few more options. It would not just be one person who follows me, it is a job for two or three people.'

Boonen rode for the QuickStep team for most of his career, joining in 2003 before retiring with them in 2017. During that time, he won a record-equalling four Paris-Roubaix titles, three Tours of Flanders, a road race World Championships and six stages of the Tour de France.

Since stepping down in 2017, Boonen has taken a backstep from the cycling limelight instead focusing his time on being a rally car co-driver.

If he was to re-enter the fold, he would have until 2021 to get back in the loop with Lefevere's contract valid until then.

The 64-year-old has worked with the team since 2003 - the same year Boonen joined - and has helped them to become one of the most successful teams in history. This season, the team won 68 races including Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix.

For now, Lefevere will begin to collect his Belgian state pension from next year although has no plans to step away entirely soon.

'Retire? Yes, I finally get something back from the state for which I worked all my life,' Lefevere responded when asked about stepping down.

'I am especially proud that I always succeed in getting the best people around me. That is also an art. Sometimes I have to let go of very good riders, such as Philippe Gilbert for budget reasons, but I always succeed in finding replacements who don’t disappoint.

'It keeps me young. Many people see me younger than I am, but maybe they just want to charm me.'