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Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan).
“Punishment” for critical comments
RadioShack-Nissan has decided to stop Jakob Fuglsang from racing in any further WorldTour races this year. This will prevent him from winning any UCI points, which could help his team in 2013 – a team which will not be RadioShack-Nissan.
Fuglsang announced that he was “disappointed” not to be named to the team's Tour de France squad, saying that it “doesn't make RadioShack my first choice for next season.” He is already said to be negotiating with Bjarne Riis to return to Saxo Bank, soon to be known as Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank.
He received word on Monday evening from team manager Johan Bruyneel that he would not be nominated for any further WorldTour races this season. Riders earn points for good results in WorldTour races, and these points transfer with a rider if he goes to a new team. So if Fuglsang were win points this year, they would count for RadioShack this season but also for whatever team he is with next year.
The action is seen as punishment for his critical remarks concerning the team. It will also likely decrease his value for the coming year. It is also a clear indication that RadioShack will not offer him a contract for 2013.
“Bruyneel simply will not give me the chance to score points the rest of the year,” Fuglsang told ekstrabladet.dk. “I asked him directly if it also means I don't ride the Vuelta a Espana, and he confirmed it.”
“It is sad that RadioShack thinking more on points than on results. Good results in WorldTour races are important for the team, and WorldTour points are highly important for me because they help to keep my market value,” he said. “I am disappointed that I will be punished in this way.”
Fuglsang, who has been nominated to ride the Osterreich Rundfahrt, starting Sunday, will still try to do his best. “I will ride my contract out and that will be it. Now I will just do as well as I can in the races I am allowed to ride.”
In retrospect, he said, “it was perhaps not smart to have commented on my situation, but where are we then? One should be allowed to speak his mind without having sporting consequences.”