Edward Theuns will leave Team Sunweb at the end of 2018 after mutually agreeing to terminate his contract with the German-registered squad. The Belgian has only been with the team for one year but cited differing approaches as the reason for the decision to leave.
Theuns was brought into Sunweb for the spring Classics and as a support rider for Michael Matthews. He took sixth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where Matthews broke his shoulder in a crash, but struggled throughout many of the subsequent races. He ended his season quietly with a number of top 10 placings at the Tour of Turkey, and without a win all year.
"It has been a tough year for me, both physically and mentally with some crashes and bad luck," Theuns said in a press release issued by the team. "I tried to adapt to the team’s way of working, but it didn't really work out for me. We differ in vision so we decided that it would be best to end the contract. I now look forward to a new chapter in my career."
The 27-year-old Theuns has been a professional since 2014, starting his pro career with the Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise squad, before moving to Trek-Segafredo for the 2016 season. He enjoyed some good results there - with top 10 placings at Paris-Roubaix, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, as well as stage wins at the Tour of Turkey and BinckBank Tour - despite suffering a serious back injury at the 2016 Tour de France.
He moved to Sunweb on a two-year deal starting on 2018 but that has now come to an early end. Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna explained that the team had lengthy talks with Theuns but said that letting him out of his contract was the best thing to do.
"Following extensive talks we realised that our visions differ too much and lack the common, strong foundation that is required to continue working together," said Kamna.
"Giving Edward the opportunity and freedom to continue his career elsewhere is the only right decision, for both the team and Edward himself. We end the contract on mutual terms and we want to thank Edward for his commitment and efforts, wishing him all the best in his future career."
It’s not yet clear where Theuns will go for the 2019 season, with several teams already confirming their full rosters for the forthcoming year. There are still spaces at WorldTour level but it could also mean that the Belgian will have to take a step down to Pro Continental level in order to continue racing.