Reports in the Belgian media suggest a meeting between Sep Vanmarcke and his present team, LottoNL-Jumbo, over his future is set to take place next week.
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According to Het Nieuwsblad Vanmarcke’s departure from the Dutch outfit is 90 per cent certain, citing several reasons why he is unhappy at the team.
Personality clashes between the Belgian’s personal trainer and the team trainers plus the departure of his brother Ken from the staff are said to have further soured the relationship.
Overlooking Tom Boonen‘s second place in Paris-Roubaix in what could be his final season, Vanmarcke was the best performing Belgian in the cobbled Monuments. As such, an approach from his compatriots in Lotto-Soudal or Etixx-Quick Step wouldn’t have been a surprise.
However, despite Lotto-Soudal team manager Marc Sergeant being a fan of the rider, the timing does not appear right for a bid as contracts with present team members have recently been renewed and improved.
As for Etixx, twice snubbed it doesn’t look like they will come knocking again soon.
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It had been reported that Trek-Segafredo could be interested in signing Peter Sagan as his Tinkoff team looks to be wound up at the end of the year and Trek’s star rider Fabian Cancellara is set to retire.
This could still happen, but the world champion looks to be out of the American team’s budget. As such, gaining a rider like Sep Vanmarcke, who commands a much lower market value and could ride alongside upcoming talent Jasper Stuyven, is the sort of move that would suit the team in its post-Cancellara era.
Team Manager Luca Guercilena told Het Nieuwsblad: “We have drawn up a plan with Jasper. Only after 2018 is he the absolute leader to carry the team. “
BMC Racing could also figure in the transfer scrap. “I’ve worked with Sep in the past. He is and remains a very interesting rider,” said perfomance manager Allan Peiper.