Wout van Aert ordered to pay €662,000 to Nick Nuyens due to breaking contract with old team

The Belgian star broke his contract with Sniper Cycling BVBA in 2018 to join Jumbo-Visma

Wout van Aert and Nick Nuyens
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wout van Aert has been ordered to pay Nick Nuyens 662,000€ plus court costs as a sanction for breaking his contract from his old team to join Team Jumbo-Visma in October of 2018.

Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) was riding for the Sniper Cycling BVBA organisation which had both his road and cyclo-cross teams in 2018, but decided to break his contract to join WorldTour team Jumbo-Visma, where he has since had huge success.

However, his old team were aggreieved about him breaking his contract and claimed he could not do so, with team boss Nuyens taking it to court.

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This isn't the first time that this has been in the Belgian courts. Originally it was thrown out as Van Aert claimed he thought Nuyens had defaulted and he could leave the team without paying the severance fee.

However, Nuyens appealed this and the Antwerp Labour Court ruled that Van Aert still had an ongoing commitment which he did not respect. 

Sniper Cycling wanted €1.2million in compensation but the judge decided that Van Aert would have to pay half that amount as well as court costs. But the rider's lawyers are allegedly considering an appeal.

Nuyens' lawyer, Rudi Desmet, told Het Nieuwsblad after the ruling: "They went back to the essence of this file and asked whether Nick Nuyens actually made a mistake and there was, therefore, an urgent reason for Van Aert to end the collaboration. Today we know that Nuyens did not make that mistake."

In a testimony given by two-time world cyclo-cross champion, Niels Albert, Nuyens had supposedly asked Albert to lie about why he wanted to leave the team by putting the blame on Van Aert, but this has since been "done away with" says Desmet.

"Nuyens did nothing wrong at the time. And there was certainly no question of lying. Against that one witness statement from Niels Albert, we had more than one witness who stated that there was indeed a hair in the butter between Albert and Van Aert. Moreover, Van Aert was already giving plenty of criticism to the team at that time."

The only way that an appeal by Van Aert would be successful is if there had been an error during the procedures as the files shown in the court will no longer be judged.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.