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Nils Eekhoff takes UCI to court over disqualification from World Championship Under-23 road race victory

Dutch rider who was adjudged to have illegally drafted team car appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Nils Eekhoff, the Dutch rider who was disqualified after apparently wining the men’s under-23 road race at the world championships in Yorkshire last month, is taking the UCI to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to have the original result reinstated.

Following the finish of the race in Harrogate, the race jury ruled that the 21-year-old had illegally drafted his team car as he chased back to the peloton following a crash early in the race.

As a result, Eekhoff was disqualified, bursting into tears as he was led away from the podium area, with the victory instead being awarded to the Italian rider, Samuele Batistella.

According to, his action against the UCI has the backing of the Dutch national cycling federation the KNWU, with national coach Thorwald Veneberg calling for the decision to be overturned and for clarity over exactly why Eekhoff was .disqualified, something he claimed was missing.

"In this way, perhaps something good can come out of this situation,” he said. “At least have a good look at those regulations and their application. And then we will see what the result will be."

Nils Eekhoff wins U23 road race at Yorkshire 2019 (

However, the UCI has already given a detailed explanation of how the decision was reached as well as releasing a video showing the incident that led to Eekhoff’s disqualification.

The governing body said: “The rider was disqualified for sheltering behind a vehicle for over two minutes.

“The maximum sanction provided by the article was considered appropriate to the time spent sheltering.

“The decision was taken by the commissaires’ panel after the race based on images from a moto camera available to the UCI video commissaire.

“Race officials have reviewed the images, followed due process by hearing the rider and team before making the decision.”

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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