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“We are now settling things with Thomas. First and foremost I am happy Thomas has found a team which gives us a little bit more room. We are now discussing the contract we still have," manager Daan Luijkx tells Cyclingnews

Photo: Sirotti






13.11.2013 @ 15:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Thomas De Gendt will take his current Vacansoleil team to the court over the 2014 contract he signed after his 3rd place at last year's Giro. According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, De Gendt has now seized the bank accounts and assets of the team in order for them to pay for their contractual obligations.


Thomas De Gendt managed to save his career at the last minute when he signed a contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the coming season but the Belgian still has unfinished businesses with his current Vacansoleil team which is folding at the end of the year. Having signed a contract for the 2014 season with the Dutch team, the Belgian is now taking the case to the courts to make team manager Daan Luijkx pay his contractual obligations.


Already last year when he had taken a breakthrough stage win on the Stelvio and 3rd overall in the Giro d'Italia, De Gendt was discussing a possible contract with Omega Pharma-Quick Step. However, the Belgian decided to stay loyal to Vacansoleil and signed a contract for 2013 and 2014 that was reportedly worth 1,1 million euros a year.


The contract was between Luijkx and De Gendt and not with the team as there was no sponsor in place for the 2014 season. The attempt to find a replacement backer was unsuccessful and has led the team to its demise.


Earlier this year, De Gendt received a resignation letter which was seen as remarkable by De Gendt's manager Paul De Geyter.


“The deal we had is being terminated by one party only,” he told Het Nieuwsblad at the time. “I expect that they need to buy us out.”


To get his money, De Gendt has now taken the next step by taking the case to the courts. According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, he has seized the bank accounts and assets of the team in order for them to pay for their contractual obligations.


“We are now settling things with Thomas,” Luijkx told Cyclingnews today. “First and foremost I am happy Thomas has found a team which gives us a little bit more room. We are now discussing the contract we still have. If we have news to report, we’ll let you now but for now there is nothing more to say.”


After a lengthy search, De Gendt was saved at the last minute when Janier Acevedo broke an agreement to ride for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2014. That opened up a spot for De Gendt who signed a contract that according to the Belgian himself saw his wage being cut by 80%.


After a horrible 2013 season, he hopes to get back on track in 2014 and will ride the Giro d'Italia in support of Rigoberto Uran.



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