Dutch coach: The UCI wanted to make an example of Eekhoff

Nils Eekhoff celebrates what he thought was a world title win (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, just over 500m from the finish line of the UCI Road World Championships circuit, was a hive of activity on Friday evening as riders and staff came to terms with the disqualification of Nils Eekhoff’s U23 road race world title.

While Eekhoff was upstairs with his parents, Dutch federation officials came and went, a sense of disbelief in the air.

Adriaan Helmantel, the coach who was in the car behind which Eekhoff carried out the drafting that would cost him the title, stopped to speak to Cyclingnews in the lobby.

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Patrick Fletcher

Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist, and former deputy editor of Cyclingnews, who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.