Patrick Lefevere, team boss of Deceuninck-Quickstep, pictured in 2019.

Patrick Lefevere makes light of domestic abuse in his latest column

Patrick Lefevere wrote that Sam Bennett's expected return to Bora-Hansgrohe is "the same as women who still return home after domestic abuse."

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Deceuninck-Quickstep team boss Patrick Lefevere has taken more shots at his own riders in his latest column, this time giving voice to views that seem all the more insensitive in the current climate.

“I’ve never had mentally unstable riders in my team, but there were definitely ‘special ones’,” Lefevere wrote in his Het Nieuwsblad column. “Rémi Cavagna is not a nervous guy – his hobby is fishing – but sometimes stress gets to him. Some people say that Remco Evenepoel can’t handle a bike, but in the beginning, Rémi was afraid to take a bottle or even raise his hands when he won. It’s all between the ears. Tim Declercq is a really intelligent guy, but he ‘choked’ when he has to ride for himself.”

After these bizarre descriptions, Lefevere then turned to Sam Bennett who has been subject to his boss’s wrath repeatedly in recent months. Before the Tour de France, the Belgian told Sporza that he doubted the seriousness of his sprinter’s injury: “I can’t prove he doesn’t have knee pain, but I’m starting to think more and more that it’s more fear of failure than just pain.” 

In this week’s column, Lefevere has used his opportunity to speak to the cycling world to make a deeply insensitive comparison to victims of domestic abuse.

“And last but not least there is Sam Bennett. For me he’s the pinnacle of mental weakness,” Lefevere wrote. “Leaving Bora and moaning to everybody about how he was ‘bullied’ and almost broke and depressed. Only to return fourteen months later. It’s the same as women who still return home after domestic abuse.”

Though his return to Bora-Hansgrohe is all but confirmed, Sam Bennett hasn’t been heard from since before the Tour de France, and at this point it’s unclear when he’ll next pin on a number. One thing’s for sure, we won’t get to see him at the Vuelta a España.

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