Patrick Lefevere is, to put it mildly, not to everyone’s taste.
He wouldn’t, for example, know the meaning of the word “woke.” He wouldn’t have described Sam Bennett as “the pinnacle of mental weakness” in a newspaper column published after last year’s Tour de France if he did.
He also would not have made so many uncharitable, unsympathetic public statements about one of his star riders. Remco Evenepoel might be the next coming of Merckx, or he might not, but he is definitely still just 22 years-old, so probably ought to be cut a little more slack.
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Highlights: Jakobsen seals ‘happy ending to one of the horror stories’ with Stage 2 win

Lefevere is a product of a different era, and there are those who would debate his place in this one.
The reason he has one is that he is also utterly, infuriatingly, brilliant.
If cycling had the profile of football, or if the wider world better understood our sport, he would be recognized for the master strategist and man manager that he is. Comparisons to the likes of Alex Ferguson would abound and, moreover, not be inappropriate.
Without fail, and without the resources at the disposal of the likes of Ineos Grenadiers and the supersquads, he wins bike races.
Even a disappointing spring campaign is one in which his team finishes with a Monument and a couple of classics. How many WorldTour outfits would consider that a roaring success?
A “poor” run of form also never lasts long, because he does not allow it.
As little time or concern as Lefevere has for “mental weakness,” and the inappropriateness thereof, Quick-Step, in their various guises, is a unit loaded to the gills with “mental strength.”
You could call it self-belief if that would go down better. Whatever label you want to put on that thing, that thing is an essential ingredient of sporting success.
High levels of it explains why Fabio Jakobsen was able to physically, literally battle for position in a bunch sprint against one of the most experienced pugilists in the sport.
High levels of it are what turned him into a Tour de France winner in his first attempt on a road stage. High levels of it allowed him to come back from the most horrific bike crash many of us have ever seen in real time. “I’m not fearless,” Jakobsen told Eurosport’s Cycling Show the other day. The way he navigated that finale, he could have fooled us.
Lefevere knew, perhaps better even than Jakobsen himself, that he would race like that.
Having the fastest legs in the field - which there has been little doubt this season Jakobsen has - was not going to be enough if there was a chance the sprinter would throw in the towel at the moment of truth. Mark Cavendish has shown Lefevere time and again that he will not pull out, so Jakobsen not only had to be quicker on the road, he had to be Cavendish’s psychological equal as well.

‘No one expected me to be here’ - Jakobsen after stunning comeback win

Professional sport is about as meritocratic an industry as there is. For Lefevere, selecting the young Dutchman over the veteran British star was a necessarily unsentimental judgement. Complicating things somewhat is that there are no certainties in sport, and so it also had to be an act of faith. Faith in Jakobsen's capacity to completely come back from that accident in Poland. Faith which fuelled Jakobsen's own supreme self-belief.
It was a gamble, but one which has now paid off.
For the last decade Lefevere’s teams have averaged more than 3 victories per Tour de France - one for every week’s racing, or thereabouts. With two victories from the first two stages, Quick Step could have met their regular quota before this edition has even left Denmark.
Who would dare doubt the 67 year-old's sporting judgement again?
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