“If the World Cup Is Seen as a Toy, Then…” – Union Cycliste Internationale Issues Stern Warning to Cyclo-Cross Riders for Missing the Dendermonde World Cup

Published 11/14/2023, 1:02 PM EST

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The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is waving a caution flag at riders, followed by warnings for skipping World Cup Events. Recently, a saga unfolded featuring Thibau Nys as he dodges the events, adding to the controversy in the cyclo-cross world. 

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The rising star from the Baloise Trek Lions Team, the son of the cyclocross legend Sven, has decided to sit out the Dendemonde World Cup, which has eventually triggered threats. The president’s decision stands strong amidst the controversy.

Thibau Nys’s decision raises questions about the clash of priorities

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The 21-year-old cyclist, Nys, is no stranger to cycling success success in the world of cyclo-cross. However, he failed to give his best in the Niel round of the Telenet Superprestige Series. Paired with it, he has put forward his choice not to take part in the Dendemonde World Cup which has further drawn the ire of UCI officials. 

As a reason, Nys has cited exhaustion that sheds light on the pressure of the participants in high-profile racing. However, the UCI President, David Lappartient, looks forward to establishing the World Cup as a non-negotiable priority for cyclo-cross athletes. 

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The decision made by Lappartient as reported by Global Cycling Network, reads as, “If a cyclo-cross rider prefers a national competition while there is a World Cup, he will not participate in the next World Cup and therefore also not the cyclo-cross World Championships.” In an interview with DirectVélo, the president criticized Nys’s decision adding to the cyclo-cross drama. 

Impact on cyclists’ autonomy and well-being 

While Lappartient showcased his point of view of prioritizing national competitions over the World Cup, the UCI CEO, Peter Van den Abeele expressed concerns about the perception of the World Cup among cyclists like Nys. Van den Abeele adds, “If the World Cup is seen as a toy, then we have a problem.”

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As UCI maintains a firm stance on cyclists facing severe consequences for not taking part in national competitions, he acknowledged the hardships and the challenges posed by the vents. However, he also highlighted the need for balance suggesting athletes like Nys combinations with nearby races that would facilitate participation. 

With the strict rules embracing the World Championships, the riders’ autonomy has been put at stake. The warnings raised against fellow riders like Nys raise questions about UCI’s concerns about the wellbeing of the cyclists offering them a rigorous environment.

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With the threat of exclusion from one of the most prestigious events that the world of cyclo-cross offers, Nys may find himself at the crossroads between personal needs and professional obligations. As the sport navigates through a challenging terrain, Thibau Nys’s pursuit of excellence collides with the demands of high-stakes competitions. 

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Written by:

Soheli Tarafdar

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Soheli Tarafdar is a Viral Sports Moments writer at EssentiallySports. With a postgraduate degree from Calcutta University, her academic foundation has been a cornerstone in her journey as a writer. Specializing in literature during her studies, she embarked on a writing career that initially led her to explore academic content creation.
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Edited by:

Arnima Shukla

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