Team Rabobank may take its 2008 team photo without Thorwald Veneberg, a Dutch court had ruled. Veneberg had filed a claim to be included in the photo as part of a larger lawsuit because the team had not offered a new contract for 2007.
Veneberg's lawyer argued that under Dutch labour law, the rider was considered to have a contract of indefinite duration because he has been under contract to them since 2001. Rabobank said that it did not want to sign him for the coming year because of poor performance.
As part of the case, Veneberg claimed that he should be included in all of the ProTour team's activities, including participating in the team photo session and attending any planned team meetings or team building sessions. The court ruled Monday that Rabobank did not need to invite him to the photo session on October 25, since that is an "internal matter", and the team is free to stipulate who will appear in the photo. The photos will not be used until after January 1, 2008 and it is not yet known whether Veneberg will be part of the team after that date, the judge ruled. If he is with the team, then additional photos can be made at that time.
The judge also ruled that Veneberg did not have to return his bike to the team this weekend, as the team had requested, and that he may continue to train with it and with the team for the duration of his current contract, through December 31. Rabobank claimed that it had no further team activities planned for the year and does not know whether it will hold a team building session or not.
A further hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for November 14.