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Newly crowned men’s world champion Remco Evenepoel has gone on the record to state that he has no reason to leave Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, and that he is focused on remaining in the team for the coming years.
The Belgian has a deal in place until the end of the 2026 season, but VeloNews broke the story last week surrounding Ineos Grenadiers’ pursuit of the 22-year-old.
According to sources the British team is after a potential Tour de France winner, with owner Jim Ratcliffe apparently frustrated with the team’s current options for Tour glory in 2023.
Reports of a meeting between Evenepoel’s father, who also acts as his agent, and Ineos representatives were denied by the rider’s parents, while Ineos Grenadiers has refrained from commenting on the situation.
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Quick-Step team boss Patrick Lefevere had declared that Ineos’ Dave Brailsford had also texted to ask about potentially signing the rider, while the end of last week was dominated by Lefevere talking to the Belgian press to deny that his rider was unhappy with a delay in bonus payments and that there was any rift within the camp.
On Monday, Evenepoel sat before the press to answer a range of questions, including the links between him and a potential move away from Quick-Step.
“To be honest, to maybe talk a bit about the story. I was training and super relaxed. We went out of my door with a friend, stopped for a coffee and a cake, and then arrived at home. Then my phone exploded,” Evenepoel said.
“I was actually really surprised, and like I told Patrick on the phone, I was really surprised about this. I knew that there was interest from different teams, not just one team, but different teams but I really didn’t want to know because it was before the Vuelta.”
Evenepoel did disclose that several teams had shown interest in signing him during the last few months.
It’s understood that Bora-Hansgrohe had tried to free the Belgian from his contract before a contract extension at Quick-Step was signed last year, while Ineos also courted the rider before he turned pro.
However, during Monday’s press conference, Evenepoel stated that he had no reason to leave the team and that he would remain on the squad while he still had a contract.
“I really didn’t want to know anything about it because I had some really big goals ahead of me with the team. I wanted to focus on that. That’s still the case. I think I’m in the team until the end of 2026 so that’s still three [four -ed] more years.
“That means that I have confidence in the team and that the team has confidence in me. I have no reasons to leave, and I’m really happy where I am now. We have to keep working like this.”