Wout van Aert is riding solo in the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup’s opening rounds in Wisconsin, USA, after revealing that he is no longer Veranda’s Willems Crelan. The Cyclo-cross world champion ended his contract with the team due to a lack of cooperation among the teammates.
While talking to Sporza, Van Aert’s lawyer said that he will be competing in this year’s cyclo-cross season as a ‘lonesome cowboy’. He reiterated that his client will not be any penalty for terminating his contract with the team due to the recent nasty events which led to his decision to walk away.
Van Aert said that he would honor his contract’s final year by not signing with any other team in 2019. The cyclist has agreed to ride for LottoNL-Jumbo WorldTour team in the 2020 World Cup season.
Announcing the decision
Early on Tuesday, Veranda’s Willems Crelan management company, Sniper Cycling, issued a press statement to announce Van Aert’s decision to terminate his contract.
The statement said that the cyclist had left the team on Monday evening despite efforts from the team management to resolve the situation. They even offered him better contract terms for 2019 which he refused.
After the statement, Van Aert explained his side of the story on his website, WielerFlits, where he confirmed the news of his exit from the team but chose not to detail the personal reasons that led to his drastic decision.
He said that cooperating with his team had become impossible in the days before he terminated the contract. He assured his readers that his lawyer will give all the necessary details of the case in the near future.
His council, Walter Van Steenbrugge, said that the opening cyclo-cross race on Sunday was what really broke van Aert’s relationship with his team.
The cyclist was in the lead when he broke a derailleur and was forced to run to the pits. He ended up coming second in the race and blamed his team for the equipment issue.