Mar 12 2007
Not that I ever liked Patrick Lefevere, but man, I really don’t like him now. The Quick.Step director is reportedly “encouraging” each member of his 30-man team to sue a Belgian newspaper that that accused him of a generation’s worth of doping. With pupils like Johan Museeuw, Richard Virenque, Frank Vandenbroucke, most would see the dope claim as at least worthy of an investigation, but Lefevere isn’t encouraging the suits for legal reasons – he just wants to find out which of his riders is the rat. Hercule Poirot, he ain’t.
Like some grotesque Flandrian amalgamation of King Lear and The Departed, Lefevere assumes that, while the bulk of the team will rush to prove that they love him the most, the rat will be unwilling to sue the paper for publishing material he supplied. Never mind the time and legal expenses incurred on his riders (who don’t make that much to begin with) – the most dominant classics DS in recent memory believes his reputation needs a 20 million euro boost to recover from anonymous claims in the Flemish version of “American” affliction.
Thus, Patrick Lefevere, I bestow upon you the nickname of Tyrannosaurus Pat. Originally given to NBA star Patrick Ewing, for his monstrous size, lack of speed, and outdated style of play, you’ve earned it through your blunt force solutions, tyrannical nature, and outdated approach to team management. As proven by your inability to so much as wizz down your leg in a meaningful GC competition, the modern sport has passed you by, leaving you only to triumph on the rocky cobbles of Flanders and on the farm roads of Paris-Roubaix – the “last of the old, crazy races” as Breaking the Chain author Willy Voet calls it.