Who is Patrick Lefevere? Why the controversy?

Who is Patrick Lefevere? Why the controversy?
He seems too nice in this photo

Patrick Lefevere is potentially the most controversial figure in professional cycling. Lefevere's brash directness, coupled with his seemingly annual ability to create a toxic atmosphere with his riders via ridiculing them in the press, creates a unique individual.

However, despite being diabolical at times, he's also potentially the most successful cycling manager in history. Lefevere was a former Belgian former professional cyclist and currently serves as the general manager of UCI WorldTeam Soudal–Quick-Step. Lefevere rose to fame as a directeur sportif of Mapei in 1995, a team which was known for its success in one-day races.

Despite being successful he's well known for making public disparaging remarks about his riders if they're not performing. In 2023, the rider currently in the hot seat is Julian Alaphilippe, who he believe is underperforming and has said so explicitly to the press.

In 2021, it was Sam Bennett, a sprinter who transferred from BORA to Soudal, who Lefevere then complained was making up injuries because he was scared of racing.

After a recent spring classics race this year, he used the line "at least my lunch was good" when his Soudal Quick-Step team did not meet his standards of performance.

Lefevere also seems to be obsessed with getting the best value for his money, which probably plays into why he's such a successful cycling manager. Personally however we feel he can do it without having to be a complete jerk to his riders. Lefevere's claim to fame, Remco Evenepoel, is notoriously underpaid because Lefevere managed to secure the contract through Evenepoel's father over dinner.

There's a rabbit hole of gossip to dig into if you're interested, but we believe this gives you the gist of the man.