There was no sign of the 2024 bike and equipment prepared for Cian Uijtdebroeks at the Bora-Hansgrohe training camp in Mallorca this week and Lennard Kämna and Dani Martínez will now lead Bora-Hansgrohe at the Giro d’Italia instead of the young Belgian.
Uijtdebroeks is now a Visma-Lease a Bike rider after he and Bora-Hansgrohe reached an agreement to end his contract a year early and the German team are keen to move on from the painful split and focus on their 2024 goals with new team leader Primož Roglič and their other stage race riders.
“We’ve now planned the 2024 season without Cian Uijtdebroeks. We had laid out a plan for him, we had goals defined for what we’d have done with him but he felt different about it,” senior directeur sportif Rolf Aldag said when questions about Uijtdebroeks were inevitably raised during the Bora-Hansgrohe media day in Mallorca.
“I don’t actually think it’s for us to now discuss the details. A solution was found that everybody can live with and so we have to look forward.”
Uijtdebroeks pushed to end his contract early, with veiled accusations of bullying and mistreatment at Bora-Hansgrohe as he impressed at the Vuelta a Espana.
The team firmly rejected these claims and insisted there was no wrongdoing on their part after some kind of internal enquiry.
“We have to be sure that if things are not working the way they should, then we have to look into it,” Aldag said.
“The way it was ‘executed’, I think we can all agree it was quite complicated and the way it went in public was not good for the team, not good for him, and certainly not good for the sport.
“Of the whole story, this is the biggest regret, it just does not look good.”
Uijtdebroeks’ feelings weren’t ignored by Aldag after the team’s internal investigation, but he did question why nothing was raised sooner by the rider himself.
“You don’t want that in your team. We investigated that, we heard from all our riders, but we really found nothing,” Aldag said as reported by Het Laatste Nieuws.
“Of course, that says nothing about the emotion Cian felt. I’m just saying that we didn’t find any indication that he was being excluded or bullied. What still bothers me is: if something happened in the Vuelta, why didn’t he immediately put it on the table?”
Aldag insisted he would say hello to Uijtdebroeks at races but would avoid any animosity.
“I’m not going to keep the Cian-Jumbo-Bora story alive for another three months,” Aldag said.