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Sam Bennett cleared for move to Deceuninck-QuickStep after Bora-Hansgrohe let him go

Sam Bennett (Bora hansgrohe) (Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett is set to race for Deceuninck-QuickStep in 2020 after being released by Bora-Hansgrohe.

The Irish sprinter and current national champion has been trying to change teams for several months and Bora-Hansgrohe finally gave up the fight to keep him with a brief announcement. 

"After a great story of success in the past years, Bora-Hansgrohe and Sam Bennett have decided to go separate ways," the statement reads.

"Over the last six years, Bora-Hansgrohe developed Sam Bennett into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. Against this background it however became more and more difficult to align the team’s and rider’s goals. Therefore Bora-Hansgrohe management has decided to accept Sam Bennett’s wish to leave Bora-Hansgrohe and continue his journey with another team."

The German WorldTour ended its message saying: "Bora-Hansgrohe wishes Sam Bennett all the best for his future and hopes that he can live up to his sporting dreams."

Bennett sought to leave Bora-Hansgrohe after being snubbed for selection in both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France this year. He went on to rack up 13 victories this season, with 11 at WorldTour level including two at the Vuelta a España.

His success in sprints secured an offer from Deceuninck-QuickStep, who want Bennett to replace Elia Viviani, but the Irishman had reportedly signed a letter of intent with Bora-Hansgrohe in May to stay on the German team. That sparked the legal battle and the case was sent to a UCI arbitration panel.

Deceuninck-QuickStep team manager Patrick Lefevere revealed to Cyclingnews that Bora-Hansgrohe had offered to swap Bennett for Alvaro Hodeg but he refused, claiming: "I’m not interested in trading cattle."

Bennett did not attend Bora-Hansgrohe's recent winter get-together and is now clear to sign a contract with Deceuninck-QuickStep and pull on their blue and white colours. Bennett will reportedly be accompanied in the move by trusted lead-out man Shane Archbold, who rejoined Bora in April.