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VN news ticker: Patrick Lefevere compares Sam Bennett’s move to Bora to victims of domestic abuse; Thibaut Pinot confirms return to racing

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, July 31.

Patrick Lefevere makes ridiculous and insensitive comments in latest newspaper column

Deceuninck-Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere has made his latest inflammatory and insensitive public remarks, this time comparing a rider transfer to victims of domestic abuse.

On Saturday Lefevere wrote in his column for Het Nieuwsblad that Sam Bennett’s rumored transfer from Deceuninck-Quick-Step back to Bora-Hansgrohe is comparable to “women who return home after domestic abuse.”

The Belgian boss then insulted Bennett’s mental fortitude as a rider.

“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.”

The cycling world was quick to condemn Lefevere’s comments on social media.

We here at VeloNews see Lefevere’s comments as idiotic, moronic, insensitive, harmful, plus a whole list of other words that are not fit to publish.

Thibaut Pinot confirms return to racing

Thibaut Pinot has confirmed his return to racing after several months away from competition.

“Finally!” Pinot wrote on Twitter. “It’s time for the return and it will be 100 percent French. See you soon.”

Pinot stated Friday that he will next race at the Tour du Limousin, starting August 17. His provisional summer schedule includes four other small French races, wrapping up with the Tour du Doubs on September 5.

Pinot has been struggling to shake off the back injury that he sustained at last summer’s Tour de France, where he was involved in one of the many crashes on the opening stage through Nice.

The ongoing consequences led to the Groupama-FDJ captain pulling out of the 2020 Vuelta a España after two stages before abandoning his plans to race this year’s Giro d’Italia. Pinot has not raced since the late-April Tour of the Alps.

Jasper de Buyst, Brent van Moer both injured in training crashes

Lotto-Soudal duo Jasper de Buyst and Brent van Moer have been injured in separate training incidents.

Leadout man de Buyst was hit by a car while training in Andorra on Friday, breaking his rib and shoulder. The injuries will rule him out of next month’s Vuelta a España, where he would have had a key role for Caleb Ewan if the Aussie sprinter heads to Spain.

De Buyst wrote on Twitter that he was hit by a car on the opposite side of the road. He has appealed to two cyclists that he believes may have witnessed the incident in order to help track down the driver.

Van Moer also crashed in training earlier this week. Lotto-Soudal has stated that the Critérium du Dauphiné stage winner will need at least two weeks off the bike after fracturing his hip.