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Gerts fired by Tarteletto-Isorex and considering legal action

Floris Gerts (BMC)

Floris Gerts (BMC)
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)

Former BMC Racing rider Floris Gerts has been fired from the Tarteletto-Isorex team and is currently looking at mounting a legal challenge, according to a report on the Dutch website Wielerflits.

Gerts, who won the Volta Limburg Classic as a neo-pro with BMC in 2016, joined the Belgian Continental team this year after a season at Pro Continental level with Roompot.

Things quickly turned sour, with arguments over equipment, but the trigger for the dismissal came at the recent Tour de Wallonnie, where Gerts allegedly threatened a member of staff via a text message.

"They were big words. I have not experienced something like that in 16 years," team manager Peter Bauwens told Wielerflits.

"We were so decent to let him finish the Tour de Wallonie. In our decision to fire him, we didn't rush in, but all the team directors indicated that they no longer wanted to work with him. The UCI and KBWB [Belgian Cycling Federation] agreed with us 100 per cent."

Gerts denied the allegation, saying: "I don't know what he is talking about. I can publish those WhatsApp conversations."

The relationship appeared to have already deteriorated long before that, with Gerts reportedly unhappy with the bike and components with which he was provided by the team. "In the Tour de Wallonie I could start with a worn chainring or I could go home," he said.

However, team manager Peter Bauwens saw things differently, saying: "He has had six different bikes and every bike was no good. Is it then the bicycle or the legs and head of the cyclist?

"He replaced a whole crankset put on by the mechanic by fitting a 10 or 12-year-old set from Shimano himself. When he had equipment trouble, he held the team responsible. He made the changes himself, so you can't hold the mechanics responsible.”

Gerts is now in contact with the Cyclistes Professionels Associes (CPA), which is the pro riders’ union, in order to look into building a case for unfair dismissal.

"Bauwens has repeatedly failed to comply with the agreements and the dismissal is unjustified. There has simply been no valid reason to fire me," he said.

"I am supported by the CPA and I am waiting for the legal consequences. I am very disappointed with the situation."

Gerts looked a promising talent when he turned pro with BMC and won the Volta Limburg ahead of Sonny Colbrelli and Philippe Gilbert. However, his two-year contract was not extended and he struggled to find a team for 2018, eventually winding up at Roompot. Despite what he felt was a decent season, he was not offered a new contract and was forced to drop down another level to the Continental Tarteletto team.

Prior to his cycling career, Gerts studied for a medical degree.