The relationship between Patrick Lefevere and Sam Bennett is more than broken since the Irish sprinter decided months ago not to continue in the Deceuninck-Quick Step structure to return to the BORA team next year. The skipper of the Belgian team has not missed a single opportunity to criticize his rider, despite his good results in 2020 and part of the 2021 season, where he established himself as one of the best sprinters in the peloton. Before the Tour de France there was already a somewhat unpleasant chapter, where Lefevere openly accused the Irishman of erasing himself from the race alleging a knee injury. The matter had traveled, since the boss himself criticized the cyclist visiting a specialist doctor outside the team’s orbit, sanctioning him internally for it.
The Tour de France was attended by Mark Cavendish, who eventually won several stages and equaled Eddy Merckx’s all-time record. But The war and the ‘hunt and capture’, not to say workplace harassment, of Lefevere vs. Bennett has not been overshadowed for this team success. On the contrary, in his opinion column in the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the president refers to the runner in this way, using phrases of very doubtful taste, speaking of mental weakness and equating his situation to a case of domestic violence:
If you fight like a devil and cry like a child because BORA treats you badly and you come back 14 months later, it says a lot about you. I have balls, he doesn’t. He is at the peak of mental weakness. It is like a woman who returns home after receiving domestic abuse.
Tour de France
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This reaction from Lefevere has raised numerous sentences in comments on social networks, but no colleague of Sam Bennett’s profession came out to defend him or criticize the words of the veteran Belgian leader after these statements.
In this sense, Eurosport presenter Orla Chennaoui left a more than interesting reflection: “It is correct that we express disgust when a public figure in sport speaks so carelessly about such serious issues as mental health and domestic abuse. Sometimes I feel like fanning the air around toxic fires is exactly what you want. Instead, let us praise the dignified silence of Sam Bennett. “
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Tour de France
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