UCI states 'the rules will be enforced' in Cian Uijtdebroeks contract saga

Governing body issues concise statement as transfer controversy drags on

Clock09:19, Tuesday 12th December 2023
Cian Uijtdebroeks at the 2023 Belgian Championships

© Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

Cian Uijtdebroeks at the 2023 Belgian Championships

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has broken its silence concerning the Cian Uijtdebroeks contract situation, stating that "the applicable rules will be enforced".

The one-sentence press release was issued on Tuesday morning, several days after Uijtdebroeks’ name hit the headlines for terminating his contract at Bora-Hansgrohe and signing a four-year deal with Jumbo-Visma from 2024.

The case is still pending a legal investigation, with Bora-Hansgrohe adamant that they still have a valid contract with the 20-year-old.

"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is monitoring the situation and emphasizes that the applicable rules will be enforced," the UCI wrote in an email to GCN and other media outlets.

Read more: Cian Uijtdebroeks terminated his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe but case is pending

It’s unclear if the UCI’s statement relates to their own body of regulations or rules or the national labour laws within either Germany, where Bora-Hansgrohe are registered, or Belgium, where Uijtdebroeks is from.

Uijtdebroeks has already said that he terminated his contract with Bora-Hansgrohe on December 1 but has not yet cited the justification behind the move. UCI rules state that for a rider to move teams while within a current contract, there must be an agreement between all three parties.

Clearly, Bora-Hansgrohe are not on board with allowing one of their prized riders to walk away without any form of compensation, with reports in the media that the German team are looking for a settlement of around €1 million.

That said, a written contractual agreement was not reached when Primož Roglič left Jumbo-Visma for Bora-Hansgrohe in October. He too had a contract for next year with the Dutch team but there was a willingness from the Jumbo management to let the Slovenian depart. He was forced to pay compensation and then sign for Bora-Hansgrohe as a free agent.

Rumblings of discontent have been coming out of the Bora camp for months concerning Uijtdebroeks. He criticised his teammates at the Vuelta a España and then his equipment at the European Championships a few weeks later. Bora-Hansgrohe attempted to dissolve the situation and were even keen to extend the rider’s contract in recent weeks, despite interest from several other teams.

Read more: Outraged Cofidis boss threatens vote of no confidence in Plugge over Uijtdebroeks saga

At the same time, team boss Ralph Denk did hint that he would be open to negotiations with other teams, with GCN understanding that at least one team offered compensation but Uijtdebroeks was against the move.

With his contract broken, Jumbo-Visma do not have to compensate Bora-Hansgrohe but, if the situation ends up in court, then it’s possible that the rider could be forced to settle with the German team. Much depends on the circumstances around his contract termination, which is still shrouded in mystery.

What’s also of note is the fact that Uijtdebroeks stated at the weekend that the UCI was aware of his contract termination, while the governing body’s reaction implies at this stage that it has not ratified the move.

While this is rumbling on, Jumbo-Visma have confirmed that Uijtdebroeks will link up with their team camp in Dénia, Spain on Tuesday.

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