After a fortnight of wrangling over the future of Cian Uijtdebroeks, Bora-Hansgrohe have reached a deal with the rider and Jumbo-Visma, allowing him to move to his new team from 1 January.
In a press release on Thursday evening, Bora-Hansgrohe announced that the UCI had approved the three-party agreement with an "urgent decision", allowing the move to happen.
"Today is a day of mixed feelings. I was surprised to be approached on short notice with the desire to reach an agreement," Bora boss Ralph Denk said in a statement. "But it's well known that I'm open to talks and that I won't stand in the way of a transfer if the conditions are right, and if it's done according to the rules. That was the case three weeks ago and it was the same today."
A fortnight ago, out of the blue, Jumbo-Visma stated that they had signed the 20-year-old on a four-year contract from 2024, but Bora-Hansgrohe responded, saying that the rider was still under contract for next year. Uijtdebroeks' agency also issued a statement which claimed that the young rider had been released from his contract at the beginning of December.
The 20-year-old then turned up at Jumbo's training camp in blank training kit, as the situation seemed like it would drag on. However, an agreement has now been made, with an unknown level of compensation reached.
Uijtdebroeks won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2022, and finished eighth at the Vuelta a España this year. While he has not won a race as a professional yet, he is one of the most sought-after talents around. He signed a three-year contract with Bora-Hansgrohe in 2022, which will end on 31 December.
Cycling's governing body had previously released their own press statement, saying: "The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is monitoring the situation and emphasizes that the applicable rules will be enforced."
The message from Bora on Thursday night reads: "The UCI has just approved the agreement in an urgent decision. This means that the current rider contract between Cian Uijtdebroeks and will be terminated by mutual agreement on December 31, 2023. Bora-Hansgrohe wishes Cian Uijtdebroeks the best of luck in the next step in his career."
Uijtdebroeks was present at the newly-renamed Visma-Lease a Bike's team presentation on Thursday, where it was announced that he would ride the Giro d'Italia in 2024.
"I am pleased that the dust has finally settled, and that the case is now closed," Denk said. "The agreement shows that it's never too late for a reasonable, personal discussion. I would like this case to remain an isolated incident for the entire cycling family: Let's respect contracts and rules, let's be fair with each other."
The Bora boss also rebutted allegations that Uijtdebroeks was bullied during his time at the German team, the concept of which was reported by Dutch journalist Thijs Zonneveld on the In het Wiel’ podcast.
"Above all, I stand behind my team," Denk said. "When false accusations are made against our riders, a line is crossed. To be clear: these accusations did not come from Cian. They were never voiced to us by Cian as a reason to change teams."
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