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Following the collapse of the proposed Jumbo-Visma takeover, Soudal-QuickStep are persevering with into 2024 and the Belgian crew have this week come collectively for his or her first team-building actions forward of the brand new season.
In a sequence of occasions in league with sponsors and companions, all the crew – together with marquee signings Mikel Landa and Gianni Moscon, and 7 neo-pros – met up in Belgium because the planning for the brand new season begins.
The crew had been beneath menace in late September with Dutch squad Jumbo-Visma aiming to carry Soudal on board as a title sponsor together with a number of key riders. Nevertheless, the proposed takeover collapsed two weeks later, with Soudal-QuickStep now confirmed beneath the management of Patrick Lefevere and Zdenek Bakala via to the tip of 2025.
Earlier this week the squad headed to Soudal’s headquarters in Turnhout for conferences, pictures and a tour of the sealant and adhesive firm’s manufacturing unit. They then met up with sister squad AG Insurance coverage-Soudal-QuickStep on the Wielsbeke headquarters of QuickStep to rejoice the flooring firm’s 25 years as a biking sponsor.
The crew then headed to the North Beach in Oostende for a day of team-building actions on Tuesday.
Such meetups are one of many few instances within the yr the place full groups can get collectively, and so leaders comparable to Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe, Kasper Asgreen, and Yves Lampaert met with growth crew graduates together with Il Piccolo Lombardia champion William Junior Lecerf and Gent-Wevelgem U23 winner Gil Gelders.
The group performed a ‘crack the code’ homicide thriller recreation because the squad break up into groups of ‘runners’ and ‘thinkers’ groups, with the thinkers taking a number of exams to ship the runners to completely different areas round Oostende for them to resolve the thriller.
Pictures despatched out by Soudal-QuickStep present Bert Van Lerberghe and Tim Merlier collaborating within the enjoyable and video games in entrance of their teammates, Mattia Cattaneo engaged on a take a look at with three perplexed-looking teammates, and a blindfolded Gianni Moscon and Yves Lampaert taking directions from Kasper Asgreen.
“We had been in search of a crew constructing occasion across the time of our crew assembly, which was held at Soudal’s workplaces in Turnhout,” crew directeur sportif Tom Steels stated. “We’re very grateful to Meet in Oostende for his or her assist in organising this occasion, and for internet hosting on the stunning Thermae Palace lodge.
“Everyone concerned had a very pleasurable couple of days and we’re capable of take pleasure in a crew spirit that we hope we are able to carry into the forthcoming season. It was the proper location and a unbelievable occasion.”
The crew, presently at 27 confirmed riders for 2024, will get collectively once more over the winter for coaching camps in Spain. Then, their consideration will flip to the brand new season on the Tour Down Underneath, which kicks off in Tanunda on January 16.