By Sabine Sunderland
Colombian rider Mauricio Ardila only worked for Davitamon-Lotto for one year, but is now en route to Rabobank. Marc Sergeant, manager of the the Davitamon-Lotto ProTour team wasn't happy at all about this move. "Mauricio still had a contract for one year," he said. "In the ProTour ethical charter, it states clearly that teams shouldn't approach riders still under contract somewhere else."
But Ardila defended his decision. Apparently a clause in his contract made it possible to "buy himself out of the team" for €200,000. "I couldn't say no," Ardila told the Belgian press. "I'm 26 years of age and cycling is my profession. It's only logical that I take the financial aspect into consideration."
In the mean time, Cyclingnews confirmed that Davitamon-Lotto has approached Belgian National Champion Serge Baguet, to buy their former TdF stage winner out of his newly signed contract with QuickStep.
The national lottery's sponsoring manager Marc Frederix confirmed in HNB that he contacted Serge on Friday, and told him that he still deserves a place in the team. "He can always return," said Frederix. "It's a shame the team let him go. After all, Serge was one of the strong pillars in the team. Marc Coucke and Marc Sergeant know our point of view, it's up to them to act upon it."
But Baguet told Cyclingnews, "I simply wouldn't consider such a proposition after signing a contract with another team. Besides, they left it a tad late to come up with a decent offer, don't you think?"