The Belgian Continental Willems Veranda Team did not ride in the Hel van het Mergelland Saturday, as the riders protested because they have not been paid. "I have heard of this matter and we will find a solution as soon as possible," said sponsor Luc Willems.
According to the Belga press agency, Willems said that the team had a budget of 500,000 euro. The money has apparently been paid by Willems' firm, but does not seem to have arrived, at least, not to the riders. "I think that the team management is responsible in this case," he said. "It must urgently be cleared up. The riders must be paid their salaries as quickly as possible in order to avoid problems."
Geert De Moor, team manager, said, "We are aware of this affair but I am confident that it will be cleared up soon. For the rest, I do not want to comment right now. When the time is ripe, we will come forward with the correct explanation."