"You’ve just created sh*t for another team" - Cedric Vasseur demands immediate resignation of Richard Plugge due to his role in Cian Uijtdebroeks controversy

There has been much criticism of members of both parties in the complicated controversy that is Cian Uijtdebroeks' proposed move from BORA - hansgrohe to Team Visma | Lease a Bike. According to Cofidis boss Cedric Vasseur however, it's Richard Plugge who deserves the most criticism, due to his role as AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels) President.

“My concern is surrounding the AIGCP president. When you have the AIGCP president, who is the guy in charge of the teams’ association, you expect him to respect the rules and the other teams,” Vasseur has told GCN.

In case you've been living under a rock, on Saturday evening, Plugge's team announced the arrival of Uijtdebroeks to their team. However, this was quickly followed by a counter announcement by BORA - hansgrohe, denying the legality of such a deal as they insisted the young Belgian talent still belonged to them. In the days since, Uijtdebroeks' agent has claimed the contract was bought out on the 1st of December although BORA remain steadfast and are reportedly demanding a one million euro buyout payment.

“You can be upset, and when this person is the president of the AIGCP, it’s something unbelievable,” Vasseur says of the situation. “There are no gifts in cycling but when you are elected and you’re representing all the teams and you’re behaving like that, how can other teams trust you? It’s not possible.”

“He’s our president and he’s trying to take a rider. Today it’s a rider from Bora but tomorrow it could be from my team or another one. You’ve just created shit for another team,” Vasseur says critically. “It’s not just another team manager. If it was then I wouldn’t react like that. There are some team managers I won't give a single euro to because I know I wouldn’t get it back and that’s how it is, but this behaviour from the president is just unacceptable. How can we trust him? If you want to be the AIGCP president the first thing you need to do is respect the teams. With that mentality, you can’t be the AIGCP president."

“I will talk to the other managers and if they agree then we’ll call for a new election as soon as possible. I don’t want to have anything to do with a president like this. It’s a robbery. If you can’t handle the responsibilities of being president then there’s no room for you. We’re all fucked because we’ll arrive at a situation where a rider says ‘the socks aren’t the colour I wanted, so I’m leaving’. That’s not business and we’re talking about millions of euros for each team," he concludes. “I fully trust the UCI to clear this situation as soon as possible. It’s a big mess on social media and it will have an effect. When I first saw this news on Saturday I thought it was from hoax team accounts. I thought it was some fucking fake Twitter account. Honestly, I’d never even think about doing this to another team.”

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