World cyclo-cross champion and rising road star Wout van Aert has "unilaterally terminated" his contract with Sniper Cycling, the owning company of the Veranda's Willems-Crelan team, according to a statement released by the company.
The 23-year-old Belgian had recently voiced his discontent with the news that his team was to merge with the Dutch Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij outfit for 2019, but said in August that he'd never been consulted about the new team, and that "enough is enough".
Sniper Cycling, owned by former pro Nick Nuyens, released a press statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning with the news that Van Aert had decided to end his contract.
"Wout van Aert has unilaterally terminated his contract with Sniper Cycling on Monday evening September 17, 2018," it read. "This decision came despite the fact that the team management tried to unblock the situation last week, e.g. by offering him an improved contract for 2019.
"Van Aert did not accept this proposal and has opted to terminate his contract unilaterally with immediate effect. The team management regrets that decision.
"This matter is now in the hands of our counselors [sic]. No further comment will be made in the meantime.
"However, as pointed out repeatedly, we wish to clarify that we will be a ProContinental cycling team in 2019 regardless."
Van Aert has so far made no comment.
More to follow