Team Visma-Lease a Bike announced the acquisition of Belgian Cian Uijtdebroeks from Bora-Hansgrohe on Saturday, but the German team rebutted this claim, saying they expect him to race with them through the end of his contract in 2024.
Visma made the announcement on Saturday that they signed the 20-year-old, who showed his promise with a victory in the Tour de l’Avenir last year and finished eighth at the Vuelta a España this season, through the 2027 season.
Bora-Hansgrohe replied with a statement on social media stating, “Cian is and will remain a member of Bora-Hansgrohe, also in the coming 2024 season. He is contractually bound with us until 31 December 2024.”
A&J All Sports, the management company that handles Uijtdebroeks posted a statement on their Instagram page saying, “The agreement between Cian Uijtdebroeks and Bora-Hansgrohe has been terminated on December 1st, 2023.
“Legal proceedings already have bee initiated by CIan and the UCI is aware of the termination of the agreement.
“Cian is confident about the outcome of the pending procedure and will refrain from further comments at this time.
“Of course, Cian is excited and looking forward to the future cooperation with Team Visma-Lease a Bike starting next season.”
Visma lost Primož Roglič to Bora-Hansgrohe in a mid-contract transfer this season after the Slovenian was relegated to a helper role for teammate Sepp Kuss during the Vuelta a España.
Like Roglič, Uijtdebroeks was under contract for one more year with his current team and expressed some discontent with the interactions with co-leader Aleksandr Vlasov during the Vuelta. He also criticized Bora-Hansgrohe after issues with his bike during the Chrono des Nations this autumn.
On Saturday, Visma-Lease a Bike’s press release made it sound as if the contract was a done deal.
“We have been following Cian since his junior days,” sport direct Merijn Zeeman said in the press release on Saturday.
“When the opportunity arose to sign Cian as of December 1st, we didn’t hesitate. Cian is a perfect fit for our team. He wants to develop in all areas. We are happy that he has chosen us and our approach.”
Uijtdebroeks won’t be a like-for-like swap for Roglič as Zeeman expects him to learn from two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard, Vuelta winner Kuss and fellow Belgian Wout van Aert. “We see Cian as a future leader of our team,” Zeeman said.
Uijtdebroeks pointed to the team’s record in his decision to make the move.
“It has proven to be a leading team in recent years. And it was absolutely outstanding in 2023, winning the three Grand Tours. It is an honour to learn from guys like Jonas, Wout and Sepp. I am looking forward to starting with Team Visma-Lease a Bike,” he said.
Even before turning pro, the Belgian garnered plenty of attention as a junior, attending the Quickstep team camp in 2020 and impressing Acrog-Tormans chairman Jef Roberts. At the time Roberts said “He has no equal in climbing or time trialling. He does things I’ve never seen before.”