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Van Wilder ‘explodes’ merger rumors: ‘We don’t agree with this nonsense’ – Cycling

Van Wilder ‘explodes’ merger rumors: ‘We don’t agree with this nonsense’ – Cycling

The Belgian rider won the Tre Valli Varesine, beating Pogacar and Roglic

• Photo: Getty Images

The merger between Soudal-QuickStep and Jumbo-Visma is one of the hot topics in the world of cycling, but not everyone is particularly enthusiastic about the scenario of a union between two of the strongest teams in the peloton. And this Tuesday, there was a kind of cry of rebellion from one of the Belgian team members, when the Belgian Ilan van Wilder expressed his opinion on this subject very clearly after winning the Italian classic Tri Valle Friesen.

“These weeks have been difficult for us. This victory is for our employees and my teammates, to show that we do not agree with this nonsense and we want to continue as Soudal-QuickStep. We are strong enough and we hope that it will remain that way.” “This was the most unexpected victory in My life: I had bad legs in the Giro dell’Emilia, but today I was fine. I have absorbed a lot of energy from what happened in the last few days,” said the Belgian cyclist, who won the race 16 seconds from the end, a host of other favorites, among them Richard Carapaz, Aleksander Valsov, Primoz Roglic or Tadej Pogacar.

This is the second time that a Soudal Quick Step rider has spoken out about this issue, after Frenchman Julien Alaphilippe also briefly addressed it, demanding a quick resolution to the process. “We don’t know a lot. It’s complicated in everyone’s minds, so we’re trying to stay focused on what we have to do in the race. Let’s hope the situation will be resolved, because it’s a bit annoying,” he said.

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Essentially at stake is the very likely scenario of several current cyclists in the Belgian team being left without a team for 2024, as the maximum number of participants per team is set at 30 – Jumbo-Visma has 26 and Soudal Quick Step 23, which together gives 16 cyclists. More than the maximum expected.

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