Lotto-Soudal could have to pay former riders millions of euros in compensation

Court finds team made mistakes in former group insurance policy

(Image credit: Watson)

Lotto-Soudal could be forced to pay millions of euros in compensation to former riders after the success of a legal case lodged by former pro Jurgen Van de Walle.

Van de Walle, who rode for the team between 2011 and 2013 in its guises as Omega Pharma-Lotto and Lotto-Belisol, has been awarded €56,000 in compensation over mistakes made in how the team handled the group insurance for its riders.

While that compensation settlement on its own is unlikely to cause too much pain to the team, Het Laaste Nieuws reports that it could potentially open the door to other similar claims from Van de Walle's former team-mates.

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The amount of compensation paid to Van de Walle was linked to his relatively modest income of €150,000 for each of his two years on the team, meaning that compensation could be greater for higher paid riders who may have been part of the team for longer during the period 2006-2012 when the insurance policy was in place.

That could give the option for bigger name riders such as Philippe Gilbert, Robbie McEwen, and Cadel Evans to go to court, potentially costing the team much more than the €56,000 paid to Van de Walle.