But he cannot win the Tour with Soudal-QuickStep (the argument continues) because they are set up for one-day races and Tour de France stage wins, not yellow jerseys. In fact, when Evenepoel won the Vuelta a España last year, it was the team’s first-ever Grand Tour GC victory. There have been two second places, Rigoberto Urán in the 2014 Giro d’Italia and Enric Mas in the 2018 Vuelta, but the best finish by a Soudal-QuickStep rider in the Tour was a fifth place by Julian Alaphilippe in 2019.
Ineos Grenadiers, continues this argument, is a superior team in search of a rider capable of winning the Tour de France. The last Ineos rider to win the Tour was Egan Bernal, in 2019, which ended a golden period in which Ineos Grenadiers (also as Team Sky) riders won seven Tours in eight years. They are eager to experience Tour de France glory again and have everything Soudal-QuickStep lacks to make Evenepoel a Tour winner: the resources, the experience, the riders and the hunger for a Tour victory which equals that of the rider himself. Evenepoel and Ineos would be a match made in heaven, most observers agree.
But Soudal-QuickStep Patrick Lefevere disagrees, of course. He believes that the 23-year-old phenom is just right where he currently is. Most recently he reacted to a comment by former Tour winner Alberto Contador, who said on Eurosport that Evenepoel’s move to Ineos was an “open secret,” and that he would take a number of riders […]