Will team Jumbo-Visma merge with team Soudal-Quick Step for the 2024 UCI road cycling season?
Jan 2

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Lionbought Ṁ25 ofYES
egroj avatar

@Lion you still think it will happen?

Lion avatar
Lionbought Ṁ5 of YES

@egroj Don't see any evidence, but without Amazon maybe. I could imagine that they get back to some discussions with Soudal. To be fair, probably not the highest probability. 30 Mana is a risk I'm willing to take.

Lion avatar
Lionpredicts YES

@egroj And there's still a small chance that these non-merging-news are not true.

Eliza avatar

@egroj I think it is very unlikely right now but still not impossible. At this point I've sold all my shares because I don't want to hold No for 2 full months waiting on a small gain, but I doubt I would try to push it much below 5% as of today. I think in another week it will probably be either a clear 0%...or if something will happen, it will be known.

I don't think Soudal or Specialized can leave their agreement without the blessing of SOQ ownership, which they won't have anymore. And Jumbo has gotten an increase from PON/Cervelo. And SOQ should have no reason to specifically let "multiple riders" leave to join TJV.

Now, if you told me that Yves Lampaert was going to break his SOQ contract early and go to TJV, I would say "sure, it could happen", but that does not mean the teams have merged. If Yves brings a rider and some staff with and it all has the blessing of SOQ management? It could count but would depend on the scope. It would need to be 'significant' for me to resolve this Yes at this point.

Eliza avatar

@Eliza Also, given the current situation, if TJV sent two riders to SOQ and SOQ sent two riders to TJV in a "trade", that would NOT be a "merger".

Also, anything that is a pre-merger for an eventual 2025 merger would also not be a 2024 merger and this would be a No.

Really, it seems very unlikely to become a Yes unless the news changes again.

Lion avatar
Lionsold Ṁ19 of YES

@egroj and not anymore 😂

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

Does anyone have questions about the resolution of this?

If any portion of these two teams combine in something people refer to colloquially as a "merger", I do not care one bit what the actual business structures involved were.

If major sponsors and/or riders from Soudal - Quick Step join Team Jumbo Visma for 2024, I am almost certainly going to resolve Yes, even if some other team is left in the wake of the disturbance.

One of the keys to this is that entities which had a prior agreement to be with SOQ for 2024, change to TJV.

Feel free to ask more clarifying questions but "I'll know it when I see it" probably applies.

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

@Eliza If just one rider cancels a SOQ contract early and joins TJV, and no sponsors or other riders, probably not a merger.

If it's two riders and no sponsors, probably yes.

If it's one rider and one or more team sponsors, probably yes.

It doesn't matter what the team is named.

If business partners or owners or staff of SOQ move to be business partners or owners or staff of TJV, probably yes.

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

@Eliza I am going to do a few more of these examples because I would really feel bad if people do not agree with my assessment.

I think the number one key thing I am looking for is that there is something unique and abnormal about the way the situation plays out. It is highly unlikely for this to be a true "merger", but that was obvious even when the question was created -- there are simply not enough jobs available for an actual merger.

The abnormal bits that can happen are things like: sponsors exiting contracts that would normally be binding for additional years and switching teams; riders doing the same; staff doing that; owners doing that.

If the teams start doing swaps where riders from one team go to the other and vice-versa, that is very abnormal.

If literally the only thing that happens is Soudal and Zdenek Bakala both move over to be cooperating with Team Jumbo Visma, and Lefevere, all riders, all staff, continue for 2024 as Quick Step Team, I am quite sure I will still call that a Yes for this question. A hostile "merger" or "takeover", but key ownership figures are moving. Normally it is not possible for a sponsor to change teams at such a late date, so being allowed to do it is evidence that the teams cooperated to make this happen.

If both sponsors and some number of riders move to the other team, it's almost certainly going to be a Yes.

Lion avatar

Related question on the performance:

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

Here's a related market for a consequence if the "merger" happens. Side note, this is possibly going to look a lot more like "SOQ folds, some assets acquired by TJV" than "merger"....if it happens....

Eliza avatar
Elizabought Ṁ20 of YES

Now there is a report that Amazon will sponsor Jumbo as a co-sponsor not title sponsor.

And another report that Amazon will pay 20 million for the 2024 team sponsorship.

I don't believe the 20 million part.

JCE avatar
Jakepredicts YES

@Eliza What! Where?!

Iamczecksy avatar
iamczecksypredicts YES

@Eliza ohhh yellow/black colors for amazon!

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

Johan Bruyneel is now changing his stance as of today. He was previously dismissive of this, but today in a podcast of The Move he has reported that he is coming around, has talked to people, and does accept the idea that Jumbo "need" to do this which he was previously hung up on.

He also agrees with the idea of Kerchoffs that "these players" -- the rich men owning these teams like Ratcliffe, Bakala, etc. -- are in a totally different league from cycling and they will make it happen because it is what they want.

JCE avatar
Jakebought Ṁ50 of YES

Some thinking only semi-related to the market: weirdly enough, I'm not sure this creates a superteam, or at least, it makes it look different from this year.

From Velo, "If a merger happens, many believe that riders could use it as excuse to break out of any existing contracts, and be free to move to other teams. That would open a spending bonanza from the top teams to try to scoop up any rogue riders. There is speculation that such riders as Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič might be interested in joining rival teams in order to have more freedom to race for their own results."

If that's true, it actually makes a lot of sense for Primoz and Remco to leave, Jonas stays on as #1, Sepp conceivably rides either the Giro or Vuelta for himself and stays as support for Jonas at the Tour (which also makes Sepp riding the Vuelta for himself more likely since he a) likes it and b) would be fresher for the Tour than if he rode the Giro.

This also makes the Tour conceivably waaaaay more fun because it increases the likelihood that we do see a Primoz/Jonas/Tadej/Remco tour.

Outside of Remco, Jumbo would be getting support in the form of Landa (maybe, who knows what happens to his contract) and then Jakobsen and Alaphilippe, but not a ton more else.

All of this to say UCI might be somewhat incentivized to let this go through only because it conceivably means that GC riders are more distributed, which makes for better watching. This is a little galaxy brained because it's assuming both Remco and Primoz leave.

Interested in other thoughts and where I might be ignorant.

egroj avatar
JAAMpredicts NO

@JCE Related:

JCE avatar
Jakepredicts YES

@egroj Lol I wish there had been a market for "Will the 2023 Vuelta have Vingegaard, Roglic, and Kuss competing against each other?"

JCE avatar
Jakepredicts YES

@egroj You think no? What's your thinking?

egroj avatar
JAAMpredicts NO

@JCE I bid a while ago, definitely feels to me more possible than the 33% that I assigned then. But around the 75% feels a little bit too high.

I'm just thinking that it is very complicated to get a merger like this done in such a short time. People here have mentioned some of many problems: bike sponsors (Specialized only has Soudal and Cervelo Visma, I don't think that they would be happy with a merger); other components sponsors (they only have in common computers and groupset, meanwhile wheels, clothing, saddles and finishing kits are all different companies); where does Lefevere go, no merged team would keep him as manager and he must be a big component in discussions; even without say Roglic and Remco, there is not enough space for so many riders, and a lot of them have contracts; also a team is more than just riders, the same applies to the rest of the mechanic, medical, nutrition, training, bus drivers, logistics, etc staff; UCI might not be OK; financially it is also very complicated to merge two institutions (budgets, assets, and financial obligations, etc).

They might just be evaluating a merger as a possibility, maybe in talks for another year. The reality is that both Visma and Soudal need new sponsors right now, a while merging could fix that, it might be easier if each finds new sponsors. Soudal is becoming an expert in that last year they were Deceuninck–Quick-Step and two years ago Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl 😂

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

@egroj Until today I was still at 30% myself. The barrier to implementation of this before 2024 seems absolutely impossible.

However, I am shifting now toward 60-70% right now:

  1. The relentless, unstoppable media attention repeatedly pointing that it is specifically for 2024, not 2025

  1. Continued and growing reports about the fate of Roglic, escalating today to "Roglic has been given the green light to leave if he wants" levels

  2. An explanation today of a scenario that Jumbo wishes to "spread out" their 2024 payment across 3 years instead of all in 2024. Creating a direct and immediate budget shortfall for next year with immediate correction required.

The third one is the one that pushes it over the edge to me. The team management of TJV simply cannot operate their team next year if that is true and need to make immediate changes to their plans.

But what if dumping Roglic and also getting paid for losing him would be enough income to overcome the Jumbo shortfall? Then 2025 merger suddenly seems way more realistic instead.

egroj avatar
JAAMbought Ṁ20 of NO

@Eliza agree with your last point, and to add to it, your 2. is independent of a merger: Roglic should be #1 at a team, so it makes sense for him to leave.

In my ideal world Roglic->Bahrein or Lidl, WvA->Soudal, leaving enough money for one year, meanwhile Remco->Ineos to have money for WvA and focus again on what they are good at, classics and stages

Eliza avatar
Elizapredicts YES

@egroj There was an additional interview with Raymond Kerchoffs, the journalist who originally broke this story, on the Cycling Podcast today.

Here is my own take on the summary:

My own variation, not to disagree with yours just my own spin based on what I heard:

  • Plugge might want to work with Remco

  • RK still thinks Remco is on the market

  • Main motivation is financial (absolute key to understand)

  • Jumbo will stay for 3 years as founding partner, splitting 2024 commitment across 3 years

  • All these co-sponsors are connected, maybe 10 million

  • They need money for 2024 directly

  • Thinks the cycling money game will continue to increase

  • "It's really serious"

  • Roglic will be the first to leave, very confident

  • Remco to INEOS would follow logically

  • Alaphilippe can leave to anywhere

  • WT license IPT/Q36.5/etc.

  • Riders to account for still questionable

  • Even if it is difficult, if UCI approves of it, it will happen

  • The players in charge are really, really rich guys, they will get it done

Lion avatar

@Eliza If the main motivation is financial, why TJV won't fire half their classic squad? They haven't won one monument in the past two years and don't move the needle in the GTs or in general for the team. Sure they've won a few better Kerkmess races, but does anyone cares? WVA, van Baarle, Kooij nearly sum up to 10 million. Way more than Roglics salary. I don't really get it.