Brian Holm believes that Soudal Quick-Step merging with Jumbo-Visma is the best way to safeguard the future of his former team.
Earlier this week, it was first reported by Dutch outlet Wielerflits that Patrick Lefevere’s Quick-Step squad were potentially set to partner with Jumbo-Visma to form one WorldTour 'super team'.
Wielerflits then reported on Thursday evening that Amazon will become one of the first co-sponsors of the new WorldTour project.
Holm previously served as a directeur sportif under Lefevere at Quick-Step, and told Cycling Weekly before the Amazon news broke that he thinks the merger will "save the future" of his former team.
“I know Patrick of course, but I have never spoken to him about this," Holm said. "So for me it was a surprise also the initial story, I did not see that coming at first.
“But now I think about it, with Patrick Lefevere, he's 68, it's about time to think about his retirement because what he's doing is a very, very tough job and he's had the job since like 1979. So sooner or later, we all have to pull out.
“I mean, it's just a matter of time… A big thing we always talked about when I was a DS at the team was who will take over after Patrick? Nobody can do his job, nobody. I was there 10 years and I told Patrick, who can take over after you? It's such a big job…. It’s a 24 hour job.
“I always thought when Patrick quits, the team would probably fold.”
Holm added that two teams merging wasn't usually a good thing for the sport, as it meant there was one less established team in the top flight.
“But in another way it could save the future of Quick-Step because he [Lefevere] will still be there, but just on the board," he said.
“For me, it would actually be quite good for Quick-Step because imagine he will stop in two years and nobody takes over? The team would stop because nobody can do his job in the team, nobody.”
“That would be a sad day for cycling,” he added. “People love to hate him but as far I'm concerned, he's one of the best things that's happened for cycling, the job he's done. People will realise that when he's gone.
"I mean all the woke people, they hate him, but the riders love him, and his staff too. I'm the first one to say he can be a bit wacky, but I love him, you know, he can be a difficult man but he knows about cycling, and that's a fact.
"I really get along with him. He's the sort of guy that I could call him 24 hours a day. I could discuss anything with him when I was there, he was always clear and I would always really like that.”
Holm explained that during his time working under Lefevere everyone knew where they sat in the team’s hierarchy and setup.
“At Quick-Step, the boss is always Patrick, and the sports directors are the bosses too,” he said. “It's always a little bit 'shut the f**k up and you do what we're telling you.' The riders know it is good for them, because in many teams you can see now in modern cycling, many days you see the cyclists are the bosses, they make their own decisions.
“In many, many teams, not many sports directors make decisions anymore, the key rider gets to make the tough decisions. I've always liked Quick-Step because the riders always listen to the sports directors because at the end of the day, we want to do the best for everybody."
He added that riders could be "like kids" and a sports director "has to teach them".
He said: "Riders like it when you make firm decisions.”
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