Organisers of the Tour of the Netherlands have appealed against a decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne to grant the Eneco Tour a ProTour licence. The situation has arisen as a result of a conflict between former and current Eneco Tour ogranisers, according to nieuwsblad.be.
Former vice president of the Eneco Tour's organising committee Henk van Mulukom and Rob Discart, the man who is currently in charge of the event that represents a merger of the Tour of Belgium and the Tour of the Netherlands, are believed to be at the centre of the battle.
The pair shared duties of organising the race from its inception in 2005, although by 2007 the relationship had soured and van Mulukom no longer works in that role.
Several years prior van Mulukom had signalled his misgivings on the part of Tour of the Netherlands organisers, although the main sponsor of the Eneco Tour favoured Discart. Now van Mulukom wants to run his own event in the Benelux nations, similar to the current Eneco Tour.
Despite the personal element of the situation, van Mulukom was trying to maintain an objective air about his appeal. "The foundation does not deny the right of a UCI ProTour license to an organisation it knows," said van Mulukom. "It is, however, important that objective principles be applied," he added.
It's another strange chapter in the race's history, with many in the sport questioning its relevance to riders since its inception that correlated with the launch of the ProTour, although it gives fans living in the hotbed of cycling a chance to see the world's best every year.