WHILE World champion Wout Van Aert's immediate team situation remains a mystery ahead of the American World Cup rounds, Mathieu van der Poel's Corendon-Circus team is busy building a road team to support him in next year's Spring Classics. The Corendon-Circus team's plan is to progress to UCI Pro Continental status in 2019 so that Van der Poel can show his talent on the big stage next spring.
Dane Lasse Norman Hansen signed to Van der Poel's team earlier this week, from the defunct Aqua Blue Sport, and news is expected to be confirmed soon that two-time Tour of Flanders winner Stijn Devolder has also been recruited (according to the Wielerflits website). Devolder also has three Belgian road titles on his palmares and last season played an important support role for Van Aert in the Spring Classics. Ironically though, it looks like it will be Van der Poel who will have the highly experienced Belgian beside him on his Classics debut in 2019.
After "unilaterally terminating" his contract with his team on Monday, Van Aert is unsure which bike he will race on Sunday or what, if any, sponsors he will have on his rainbow jersey (our guess is he'll have still have a Red Bull lid on).
Van der Poel will not travel to the US for the first two rounds of the World Cup and instead will wait to start his cyclocross season against Van Aert in the Brico Cross in Meulebeke on 6th October.
As we reported on our Facebook page yesterday...
VAN AERT LEAVES TEAM ON EVE OF WORLD CUP DUE TO "SERIOUS BREACH OF TRUST": Triple World Champion Wout van Aert's lawyer informed Sniper Cycling (owners of the Willems Verandas-Crelan and Crelan-Charles teams) last night that they have unilaterally terminated the rider's contract with immediate effect.
Van Aert and his lawyer claim that there was an undisclosed "serious event" over the weekend leading to a complete loss of trust in the team management. If Sniper Cycling do no
t agree with the contract termination then Van Aert's lawyer will take the issue to an employment relations court.
"It is not possible to work together any longer. Wout is a very loyal person, but since this weekend, trust has been completely lost," lawyer Walter Van Steenbrugge told VTM. "Due to a serious event, we were forced to send the employer a registered letter. We hereby expressly end the employment contract unilaterally for urgent reasons."
If the team do not accept Van Aert's early departure a court may have to decide if the Belgium must pay the half a million Euros penalty understood to be stipulated in his contract.