Wout van Aert has won his legal battle against his former team after he unilaterally terminated his contract.
The Belgian superstar left Veranda’s Willems-Crelan in September 2018 and made the switch to Jumbo-Visma a year ahead of schedule, despite still having a contract.
Former team manager at Veranda’s, Nick Nuyen, took Van Aert to court to seek compensation, demanding €1,150,000 (£991,719) in a hearing last month.
But on Tuesday (November 26), the Labour Court of Mechelen in Belgium ruled in favour of Van Aert, so the 25-year-old will not be forced to pay up, reports Het Nieuwsblad. (opens in new tab)
Nuyens has to cover the legal costs of the case, according to Belgian media, but he can still appeal against the court’s decision.
Van Aert had been due to join Dutch WorldTour team Jumbo-Visma for the 2020 season, seeing out his contract with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan.
But last September, the team announced that Van Aert had terminated his contract and it later emerged he had signed for Jumbo-Visma.
Van Aert’s departure came amid various plans for Veranda’s Willems Crelan to merge with other teams, which eventually resulted in the parent company, Sniper Cycling, joining Roompot-Charles where Nuyens stayed on as team manager.
Former triple cyclocross World Champion Van Aert, now a superstar on the road as well, publicly voiced his displeasure at being kept in the dark about potential mergers.
Van Aert has been out of competition since the Tour de France in July, after he suffered a nasty wound to his leg in a crash during the Pau time trial stage.
He is still recovering and his return to cyclocross racing this winter remains in doubt.
In early November, Wout van Aert completed his first off-road ride since the serious crash. He rode 68km and posted the session on Strava, as his CX rivals competed in the Koppenbergcross, won by Eli Iserbyt with Tom Pidcock taking second.
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