Thirsty Work: Lefevere Takes on New Role as Waterboy in Giro d’Italia Stage 6

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Lefevere Takes on New Role as Waterboy in GiroJASPER JACOBS - Getty Images

Stage 6 of the Giro d’Italia involved gravel, dust, sprints, and Soudal-Quick-Step general manager Patrick Lefevere handing out bottles to his team. Lefevere actually attends quite a few races and often makes appearances at finish lines, but this was a slightly new role. As the gravel stage unfolded, Lefevere took the place of team soigneur and dished out bottles in an interesting display of team spirit.

“In this kind of stage, you need a lot of manpower,” said Lefevere after the race, proudly adding that he handed out five bottles.

Lefevere also said of Alaphilippe’s performance, “Unfortunately for him and the team, he didn’t win, but it was a very strong boost for morale. The Giro still has more than two weeks; other chances will come.” He went on to say that Alaphilippe enjoys racing in Italy, “I hope there will be another chance for him because that’s what he needs—a victory.”

It was unclear if Lefevere meant that Alaphilippe needed a win for his own confidence or if he meant Alaphilippe needed to win to help the team.

After battling injury following a crash at Strade Bianche, Alaphilippe has finally been looking stronger than ever. And though a totally different race, it’s perhaps a little ironic that today’s stage included sections from the Strade Bianche course, where Alaphilippe initially became injured.

Today, we saw Alaphilippe, Pelayo Sánchez Mayo (Movistar), and Lucas Plapp (Jayco–AlUla) all working together in the last 15 kilometers of the stage. To the line, it was an all-out battle between Alaphilippe and Sánchez.

“I’m a bit disappointed to be so close to victory,” Alaphilippe said in a post-race interview, “but this is not the last opportunity until the end of the Giro.”

Lefevere and Alaphilippe have had a tense relationship recently. Lefevere accuses the Frenchman of partying and drinking too much alcohol at home, but Alaphilippe denies such behavior.

Perhaps handing that bidon signals their relationship is on the mend.

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