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Wout van Aert is being sued for €1.1m by his former team

Joe Robinson
22 Oct 2019

Sniper Cycling look for compensation after Van Aert broke contract a year early

Sniper Cycling are demanding a €1.1 million payout from former rider Wout van Aert for breaking his contract at the end of 2018. The three-time cyclocross World Champion broke contract with the Veranda's Willems-Crelan team in a year early in September of last year in order to sign with WorldTour team Jumbo-Visma.

The team's manager Nick Nuyens is now asking the 25-year-old to stump up over a million euros due to damages faced through the loss of sponsorship endured after Van Aert's breach of contract.

At the time of Van Aert's departure, there was uncertainty surrounding the future of the Willems-Crelan team. It was only secured when they merged with Dutch team Roompot, after Van Aert's departure.

Nuyens's evaluation of €1.1 million in damages is made on lost start fees, prize money and sponsorship, a fee that Van Aert believes is an exorbitant amount.

'It's a completely skewed amount. I would find it very strange if I were sentenced for that,' Van Aert said outside the courtroom in Mechelen, Belgium. 'At the time, it was not all about the money for me, my career always came first.

'When I did not respond to their contract proposal, I ended up in a situation in which I did not want to end up. I was placed in a completely new team that I had never chosen. So there was no other option for me.'

Van Aert is certain he will be able to overturn the claims with a decision expected from the judge on 26th November.

Meanwhile, the Jumbo-Visma rider continues his slow recovery from a major crash at the Tour de France in July. The Belgian crashed into a protruding fence on the Pau time trial leaving him with a nasty leg wound.

It was rumoured Van Aert and his Jumbo-Visma team were considering legal action against the ASO for the crash.