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John Lelangue hasn’t even officially left Lotto-Soudal but his predecessor Marc Sergeant hasn’t held back from sticking the knife in with a barbed Tweet aimed at the departing team boss.
It was announced on Thursday that Lelangue would leave his post as CEO at Lotto-Soudal at the end of the season following a disastrous period in charge of the team.
The squad sits on the cusp of automatic relegation from the WorldTour, while Lelangue’s reign has been dominated by poor transfers, a lack of wins, and handing out long-term contracts to veteran riders past their best.
He did bring in Arnaud De Lie from the Lotto U23 team, and the young sprinter has been a revelation, but the squad failed to adapt to the needs of UCI points hunting. Even Caleb Ewan, the best rider on the team for the last few years struggled for results in 2022.
Lelangue, who had previously worked at Phonak and BMC, was brought into the team in 2019 and quickly given more responsibilities and authority than Sergeant, who had run the team for well over a decade.
In 2021 Sergeant was ushered out the door with Lelangue given complete control of the operation. According to Lelangue, he left the team by mutual consent.
Sergeant refused to comment on Thursday following the news of Lelangue’s departure but in the evening he couldn’t resist and took to Twitter to make his feelings clear.
“Imagine, you get a nice ship, it was well maintained for decades and yet you start to make a hole in it,” said Sergeant.
“While the ship is sinking, get a new boat first and then quickly leave the sinking ship,” he concludes. He ends his not too cryptic Tweets with two hashtags: ‘#mission accomplished’ and ‘#scandalous’.
Hell hath no fury like a 63-year-old sports director scorned.
Stel je voor, je krijgt een mooi schip, het was al decennia lang goed onderhouden en toch begin je er een gat in te maken,maar als het zinkend is,zorg je eerst voor een nieuwe andere boot en verlaat dan snel het zinkende schip #missiegeslaagd #schandalig
— Marc Sergeant (@marc_sergeant) September 29, 2022