Has Soudal-Quick-Step now won twelve races or fourteen, as big boss Patrick Lefevre insists? And why Lotto-Dstny has already won five times while their riders are from nucleus Crossed the finish line first only four times? Welcome to the tangle of UCI rules.
Why does Patrick Lefevre say that Soudal-Quick-Step has won fourteen times, while both the UCI and the oft-consulted online cycling tire have only twelve victories? So we have to go to the Rwanda tour. Soudal – Quick-Step went into the African stage race – supervised by Lefevere himself – with his training team, the so-called Devo Team. However, the UCI does allow Pro riders to participate in the start with the rationale that the more experienced riders teach the less experienced U23 boys the tricks of the trade. Thus the English sprinter Ethan Vernon also traveled to the country in which the World Cup will be organized in 2025. Vernon had already won a stage in Mallorca, as a member of the Pro Team, a victory for which the adults are also credited. Vernon also won the first two stages in Rwanda by force majeure. However, those wins are recorded by the UCI in Devo’s team accounts, and it’s the wins that Lefevere counts with the Pro team since Vernon is a pro. Are you still with us?
Soudal – Quick-Step isn’t the only team that occasionally uses its pros on the coaching staff. For example, Lotto-Dstny sent Lennert Van Eetvelt with his continental U21 team to the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var. Or Alec Segaert will be starting the Youngster Coast Challenge with the U23 team on Friday, while his teammates also finish the Bredene Koksijde Classic at the same time. If Segaert, who was transferred to the professional team, wins, his win will go to the National Lottery coaching team.
Upside down world
We understand Lefevere’s dismay. Because we haven’t talked about the upside down world yet. For example, Team Devo members, provided they hold continental status, are allowed to ride with seniors in professional races that are not part of the World Tour. For example, young Norwegian Per Strand Hagenes won the Profronde of Drenthe last weekend for the main force of Jumbo-Visma and therefore not for the Devo team to which he officially belongs. Haggins’ victory is thus credited to the professional team’s accounts. Same story as Lotto-Destiny who won stage three in the Tour of Taiwan with Tegel de Dekker last night. De Decker is not part of the professional team, but a professional Lotto-Dstny team registered in Taiwan. Thus, the victory of the young Antwerp resident is awarded to the professional team. Soudal – Quick Step was once close to it. Jordi Warlop, under contract with Team Devo, finished second at the Hometown Classic as he boosted the team from the World Tour. His eventual victory would have been credited to the elders.
Logic seems lost but it really isn’t. The rule is clear: if the professional team scores, the win goes to the professional team, regardless of who wins. If a member of the professional team rides with the U21 team, their final win is credited to the U21 team, as was the case with Ethan Vernon in Rwanda. We dare to doubt whether the debate about the number of victories ends with this.
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