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Benoot released from Team DSM with Jumbo-Visma waiting in the wings

Tiesj Benoot at the Team DSM team car
Tiesj Benoot is the latest rider to make an early exit from DSM (Image credit: Getty Images)

Team DSM have agreed to release Tiesj Benoot from his contract, with the Belgian rider expected to sign a deal with Jumbo-Visma.

Benoot is the latest rider from DSM to extract himself from a running contract, with Ilan Van Wilder leaving the team in November after an acrimonious split that almost ended up in the courts. 

Benoot’s departure appears to be more amicable but the team stated that the rider, who joined at the start of 2020 and extended his initial two-year deal with a one-season extension, was no longer able to 'deliver on his commitments, which reflected in performances both on and off the bike'.

Benoot had one more year left on his contract and is now expected to sign for Jumbo-Visma, with the Dutch team having been heavily linked to the 27-year-old since rumours of his departure from DSM first surfaced in October.

In a statement released by Team DSM, the rider confirmed his departure.

"I have good memories here at Team DSM, with some great opportunities and I have learned a lot. It’s fun to be part of this team, but it’s also demanding," Benoon said. 

"That is not a negative towards the team; the many staff and specialists, as well as teammates are all really passionate, that’s why riders can get a lot out of themselves. I just wasn’t fully able to go for it together. I wish the team, my colleagues and teammates all the best."

Benoot joined the team from Lotto Soudal and got off to a near-perfect start at Paris-Nice in 2020. He won a stage and finished second overall before going on to play an important role in the team’s successful Tour de France. He finished fifth in Paris-Nice earlier this year and was a consistent presence in the Spring Classics. He abandoned the Tour de France on stage 11 to Malaucene before winding down the season with a string of one-day races.

However, in October Wielerflits reported that Team DSM and and Benoot were in discussions to end the rider’s contract. According to the Dutch publication, "an irreparable rift has developed in recent weeks, with several sources saying the rider and the team are working on a separation".

Benoot is the latest in a line of riders who have broken their contracts at Team DSM and left for other teams. Marcel Kittel kicked off the trend with a move to Etixx-QuickStep in 2016, with Warren Barguil leaving for Fortuneo-Oscaro (now Arkéa-Samsic) in 2018.

Edward Theuns moved back to Trek-Segafredo after just a short stint at the team, with Tom Dumoulin broke his contract two years early in order to sign for Jumbo-Visma. Michael Matthews left with a year still on his contract to re-join Team BikeExchange at the end of 2020, before Marc Hirschi reached a settlement agreement, with the team keen for him to go at the end of last year. Van Wilder left for Patrick Lefevere’s QuickStep team at the beginning of the off-season.

"Tiesj is a gifted rider with great athletic capability, who can perform on a multitude of terrain. He has shown some great performances as a member of Team DSM for which Team DSM are very thankful," Team DSM said.

Cyclingnews has contacted Jumbo-Visma but has not received a comment.

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.