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Teams & Riders Cian Uijtdebroeks - From the wetlands to the top of cycling

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You can say, like a lot of people will probably do, "well what a coincidence, he needs to get out of a contract and lo and behold, he was bullied"... but if he manages to produce those Whatsapp messages that's rather damning evidence.

Considering his comments after the chrono des nations, I think some of his Bora mechanics could likewise argue they were publicly bullied by the rider.

It cuts both ways. It seems a bit far fetched & a tad lacking in self awareness for a rider who trashed his team to suddenly pretend he was the young "bullied rider" who was too much of a perfectionist for Bora.

It's all about money & Uijtdebroeks wanting Visma, aka Visma who're either too poor to pay the fee or too clever for their own good (i.e. they saw a way of getting him for free/or for less than a million & seized it).
 
Interesting reporting by Thijs Zonneveld in his podcast. Alex Carrera started negotiating when he wasn't even Uijtdebroek's manager yet, and offered teams a chance to buy out Uijtdebroeks for one million euros. Ineos and Lidl-Trek were ready to pay, Bora suddenly saw a million euros offered out of nowhere and thought "wait a minute, that's a good deal" and accepted as well. Then Uijtdebroeks got on board, but there was one problem: he didn't want to go to Ineos or Lidl. He wanted to go to Visma.

Then there are multiple sources that say Uijtdebroeks was a misfit at Bora, weighing his food, buying different socks, all the marginal gains that nobody else at Bora sought. Teammates and management treated him like an annoying little nerd, and started bullying him. During the Vuelta there was even an anti-Cian Whatsapp group. He has documented this and is ready to present it in a courtroom.

You can say, like a lot of people will probably do, "well what a coincidence, he needs to get out of a contract and lo and behold, he was bullied"... but if he manages to produce those Whatsapp messages that's rather damning evidence.
So it was cian's own agent that determined €1 million was fair compensation for a buyout, but because he wanted to leave for visma and they don't have the money to match the buyout we end up here.

How i see it is, visma said to his agent we'll match the ineos & lidl deals but we not paying the €1million buyout those teams were willing to pay bora.

Edit

If Bora had knowledge of bullying and cian is able to prove that then it doesn't look good for them and i expect a few sponsors to leave.
 
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Interesting reporting by Thijs Zonneveld in his podcast. Alex Carrera started negotiating when he wasn't even Uijtdebroek's manager yet, and offered teams a chance to buy out Uijtdebroeks for one million euros. Ineos and Lidl-Trek were ready to pay, Bora suddenly saw a million euros offered out of nowhere and thought "wait a minute, that's a good deal" and accepted as well. Then Uijtdebroeks got on board, but there was one problem: he didn't want to go to Ineos or Lidl. He wanted to go to Visma.

Then there are multiple sources that say Uijtdebroeks was a misfit at Bora, weighing his food, buying different socks, all the marginal gains that nobody else at Bora sought. Teammates and management treated him like an annoying little nerd, and started bullying him. During the Vuelta there was even an anti-Cian Whatsapp group. He has documented this and is ready to present it in a courtroom.

You can say, like a lot of people will probably do, "well what a coincidence, he needs to get out of a contract and lo and behold, he was bullied"... but if he manages to produce those Whatsapp messages that's rather damning evidence.
It seems like he is just doing what he wants and doesn't care about the opinions and rules. If Visma doesn't have the money he can either go to Ineos oder Trek or wait for a year to join Visma. I think he wanted to hurt Bora as much as he can and of course something was wrong in the relationship with him and Bora and I don't know whos fault this was.
At the moment he just behaves like there are no rules for him and thinks he can do what he wants.
 
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Inner Ring seems to have dug out the relevant UCI regulation:

This would suggest a maximum fine to V|LAB of CHF500k Euro, to Uijtdebroeks of CHF100k, and recompense to Bora only of remaining salary.

It is a farcical situation if fines are less than legal remedy would be: literally making crime pay. I can only hope that the UCI take the attitude that the fines and recompense can be levied without the contract being recognised, and without Uijtdebroeks being registered to V|LAB. The rules hint at being applicable to a putative contract in the phrase "approaches or engages, even conditionally", so I think that is a valid interpretation.

No this are just possible fines. That is on top of everything else. So in my opinion it's in best interest of Visma to make a deal with Bora before the end of December. As otherwise fines alone could reach 600k. That is for behind the back negotiation while still under contract with Bora. Has to be proven, though.
According to Lefevere, it is mainly the riders' managers who are responsible for the fact that contracts are increasingly not fully served. “Very often it is the managers who try to screw each other over and recommend riders to other teams and then talk down to them until they take action. There are a few specialists there.

Considering Cian just changed his manager i agree that the new manager likely shares much responsibility for what we are observing now.
 
All in all i feel that things can stay the same as they are now, as long as Bora gets compensated. But the idea of Visma getting Cian for 100k. And in such way they approached this transfer. Basically unable to reach an agreement with Bora and decided to just sign Cian anyway. That in my opinion sends the wrong message. Especially considering their demands in regards to Roglič transferring to Bora. At minimum this are double standards.

One million or GTFO. It's fair. Or wait a year.
 
No this are just possible fines. That is on top of everything else. So in my opinion it's in best interest of Visma to make a deal with Bora before the end of December. As otherwise fines alone could reach 600k. That is for behind the back negotiation while still under contract with Bora. Has to be proven, though.


Considering Cian just changed his manager i agree that the new manager likely shares much responsibility for what we are observing now.
Or that the former management didnt do their job?

You do realize that most communication about the problems between team and rider here... goes through the management. They are often the middle man between team and rider. So changing management could just be a reason to take action.

Judging by this thread Uijtdbroeks is already convicted as being in the wrong, but we have no idea about anything.

Some people are out with their pitchforks in this thread.
 
So it seems that he will be claiming constructive dismissal: that will depend on whether it is judged that the bullying messages were known to, and not acted against, by management. Maybe he has a case there.

But even if he does, that does not mean that the actions of V|LAB have been above board: it seems that they have not followed the necessary steps at all, and have taken the claims from Uijtdebroeks and his people (I note that both his parents are lawyers) at face value, so they should be sanctioned.

It raises the question of how constructive dismissal is dealt with in cycling, and sport in general: proving a case can be lengthy, careers are short and wasted years cannot be easily made up for, and contracts have a value beyond remaining salary.
Whether on not this validly applies in this case, if a rider needs to get out of one team, and cannot sign for another, is there a case for restraint of trade action against the team that do not recognise a resignation based on such a claim, or on the UCI for not having some sort of contingency arrangement?
 
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It seems like he is just doing what he wants and doesn't care about the opinions and rules. If Visma doesn't have the money he can either go to Ineos oder Trek or wait for a year to join Visma. I think he wanted to hurt Bora as much as he can and of course something was wrong in the relationship with him and Bora and I don't know whos fault this was.
At the moment he just behaves like there are no rules for him and thinks he can do what he wants.
Your opinion is purely based on perception. Visma have public opinion against them, and hence Uijtdebroeks joining them in such a way has to be purely the fault of spoilt brat Uijtdebroeks and evil empire Visma. Almost everyone argues one way or another that Visma and/or Uijtdebroeks should be punished. Which is an interesting phenomenon in itself, the power of perception.

The facts as they now arise (Zonneveld isn't just making this up out of thin air, you know) could indicate a different story. It's dangerous to just assume, certainly when it concerns a 20-year-old kid.
 
The facts as they now arise (Zonneveld isn't just making this up out of thin air, you know) could indicate a different story. It's dangerous to just assume, certainly when it concerns a 20-year-old kid.

Zonneveld is reporting what he's been encouraged to report.

The ones 'making this up' could have a vested interest in tactically using the bullying angle to get what they want, aka contract termination.

I think most of us know how the world works.
 
Your opinion is purely based on perception. Visma have public opinion against them, and hence Uijtdebroeks joining them in such a way has to be purely the fault of spoilt brat Uijtdebroeks and evil empire Visma. Almost everyone argues one way or another that Visma and/or Uijtdebroeks should be punished. Which is an interesting phenomenon in itself, the power of perception.

The facts as they now arise (Zonneveld isn't just making this up out of thin air, you know) could indicate a different story. It's dangerous to just assume, certainly when it concerns a 20-year-old kid.
It might be that Uijtdebroeks has (or believes he has) a valid basis for resigning and considering it to be constructive dismissal. Regardless of that, is it your contention that V|LAB have acted either responsibly or in accordance with the rules here?
 
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Or that the former management didnt do their job?

You do realize that most communication about the problems between team and rider here... goes through the management. They are often the middle man between team and rider. So changing management could just be a reason to take action.

Judging by this thread Uijtdbroeks is already convicted as being in the wrong, but we have no idea about anything.

Some people are out with their pitchforks in this thread.

In the end it's mostly about money. So it's hard to blame anybody about that. It's legitimate to try to get as much as you can. So basically the rest of the story is more or less known. What we are still discussing is Bora. And if it's fair to sign their rider, without previous agreement with them, and involving some laughable offer. Like i will trade you 100k for your future. In between teams that operate with tens of millions annually. And considering the manager likely got way more than that and will continue to profit from it in the future. And considering Visma will likely request millions for Cian. If he decides to move one in a year or two.
 
Zonneveld is reporting what he's been encouraged to report.

The ones 'making this up' could have a vested interest in tactically using the bullying angle to get what they want, aka contract termination.

I think most of us know how the world works.
On behalf of those of us not immersed in Dutch journalism: who is Zonneveld, who does he work for, and what record of bias does he have?
 
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You two need to get together and thrash this out between you.

First of all thank you for reading my post. I really appreciate that.

As for the two quotes. First one was related to an ego debate. Here the manager was likely the most innocent one. As he just wants the money. And the second one was from a debate about money. And here indeed the manager is likely the one who should be credited the most. As he just wants the money. That is his job and sole purpose of existence.
 
On behalf of those of us not immersed in Dutch journalism: who is Zonneveld, who does he work for, and what record of bias does he have?

No idea.

His name pops up in cycling conversations quite a bit in the Netherlands. Just another Raymond Kerckhoffs.

I think what's really becoming clear is this rider Uijtdebroeks is trouble. The stuff he said over the last few months was not normal, aka that sort of abuse towards the team & its equipment said a lot about what sort of person he is. Now he's meetoo'ing himself into a better contract whilst slandering his current employer & teammates.

One thing is certain though, i.e. the rivalry between Bora & Visma on the road next season is going to be... tasty.
 
Cian suggesting he didn't think his time trial bike was aerodynamic enough is hilarious.
What I read was he thought his position on the bike was far from optimized (due to the bike not properly set up), not the bike's aerodynamics.

So his bikes weren't properly set up, his shifters were loose (so he had to change bikes in the chrono des nations, only to find out his second bike wasn't set up properly...).
I mean, if you already know there is a whatsapp group against you, that staff / other riders don't like you, and you see your shifters are loose and your second bike isn't dialled in... What are you going to say on the bus / in the press after that Chrono des Nations?

Maybe he is a difficult person, and maybe he is socially awkward. But he's 8th in the Vuelta at age 20, he's ambitious, and his ambitions don't match with the team and the team even seems to work against his ambitions.
Ofcourse it's about money: he earns 100K a year... so if Bora doesn't treat him like a top 10 GC diva for the meagre money they pay, he's fully allowed to move, and given the bullying, the team / riders are probably happy to see him go, and as it's all about money, the team will ofcourse want money too.
 
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So Rogla had to pay a penthouse in Ljubljana to move to Bora and Cian should get away with it for a half a house in a country side. House that still needs a renovation. They are just stupid in my opinion if they believe they will get away with it. Pay requested compensation or wait a year.

There is another angle to this. If Bora gets 100k and turns that into bonuses for the Tour. First sign of a climb and Rogla will already be isolated. With one million in bonuses, well now we are talking. Way more suitable for first tier GC team.
 
On behalf of those of us not immersed in Dutch journalism: who is Zonneveld, who does he work for, and what record of bias does he have?

ex-rider, journalist, making a come-back as a rider for Beat cycling at age 43.
I would say, as a rider/ athlete he's ofcourse not the top but he's solid and still on a good level at his age, e.g.
he got 2nd in the beachrace De Panne a week ago , one of the hardest beachraces in Belgium where he got narrowly beaten by Tim Merlier.
 
Then again maybe it suits Visma. For a pending law suits to hang over Cian, for years to come. As that makes possible transfers to other team way harder. Especially if frustration at the team would grow.

All in all my suggestion would be to sort this out in December. Or it will only get worse. If teams won't then UCI should register Cian as Bora rider in 2024. To prevent years of legal battles. But here i am being naive about it. They likely couldn't care less.
 
It might be that Uijtdebroeks has (or believes he has) a valid basis for resigning and considering it to be constructive dismissal. Regardless of that, is it your contention that V|LAB have acted either responsibly or in accordance with the rules here?
Of course to turn this into less of a PR disaster (and a possibly nasty court case for Uijtdebroeks) they could have payed the one million euros... that is if they even had the money. But right now it's simply impossible to know if they acted responsibly or not. For what it's worth, I think it's good that Plugge has made himself the target of all kinds of slander, and protecting Uijtdebroeks in that way. He should keep it up though, and not throw Uijtdebroeks under the bus if he'll lose his court case.
On behalf of those of us not immersed in Dutch journalism: who is Zonneveld, who does he work for, and what record of bias does he have?
He rose to fame by writing Thomas Dekker's autobiography, which wasn't exactly kind to Jumbo's predecessor Rabo. As a result he's still hated by guys like Michael Boogerd, and he also tends to get into conflict with people from "old cycling", so to speak. Vino, Lefevere, the Sky team. He works for the country's biggest newspaper, and is probably the foremost cycling journalist in the Netherlands. He's well versed in anything Jumbo-Visma, but I wouldn't say he's especially biased in favour of them. For instance, he was a very outspoken critic of the recent merger rumours. Usually when he comes with news like this, which doesn't suit the Jumbo haters, he'll get called a Jumbo fanboy, but that dismisses half of his other journalism.