Five of the biggest transfer rumours in the men's peloton

Some big names could be in different kit for the 2022 season

Sam Bennett at the Volta ao Algarve 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We have entered the period of the year where teams can now announce who they have signed for the 2022 season, with some very big names expected to be on the move.

Some riders will be leaving teams that they have been at for multiple seasons, others will be leaving after a relatively short stint and on potentially bad terms with the team.

Every year we see some surprising moves, but with many big name riders usually tied down to huge contracts - the likes of Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) being held onto for many years by their teams.

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However, this transfer season looks set for some of the sports biggest names moving around the peloton for the 2022 season. Here are just five of the biggest rumours...

Sam Bennett - Deceuninck - Quick-Step to Bora-Hansgrohe

Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

(Image credit: Getty)

The Irish star Sam Bennett is now known to definitely be leaving Deceuninck - Quick-Step with the Belgian team owner Patrick Lefevere stating that he will be re-joining Bora-Hansgrohe, even though Bennett and the German team parted ways badly two years ago.

Bennett had an amazing first season with Deceuninck - Quick-Step last year, with the 2021 season going in much the same way. But then the rumour mill started going quite early with the news that he would be going back to his old team of Bora-Hansgrohe.

This, along with a very unfortunately timed injury putting him out of the Tour de France squad, saw the relationship between him and Lefevere turn sour. Lefevere has since accused Bennett of being the "epitome of mental weakness" in a recent column for Het Nieuwsblad.

Bennett was at Bora-Hansgrohe for six years and was the star man for the first three but once Peter Sagan signed he was pushed back a little bit. Pascal Ackermann joining the fold didn't help either as the Irishman would be forced into one of either the Giro d'Italia or the Vuelta a España

However, this is likely not going to be an issue in 2022 as those two riders are set to leave the German outfit.

Peter Sagan - Bora-Hansgrohe to TotalEnergies

Peter Sagan at Giro d'Italia 2021

Peter Sagan at Giro d'Italia 2021

(Image credit: Getty)

Peter Sagan has been the rockstar of cycling since he burst onto the big stage back in 2011 with some amazing victories at the age of just 21 and it is certain that the Slovakian star will be moving on to his fifth team in his career.

After a very successful five-year spell with Bora-Hansgrohe, Sagan has decided that he fancies a new challenge. The team looks to be splitting with the rider on very good terms as they look to go in a slightly different direction with more focus on the general classification, while backing one star sprinter instead of multiple.

Originally, the big rumour was that Sagan would be heading to Deceuninck - Quick-Step as a straight swap with Sam Bennett but Lefevere waded in on this and said while he would love to sign Sagan, as would the team sponsors, they simply do not have the money to sign him and his entourage that costs around €8million.

One team that seems to be able to afford this thanks to their big-name sponsor is French UCI ProTeam, Team TotalEnergies. The energy giants are looking to pump more money into the team and maybe get to the UCI WorldTour next season and signing Sagan would be a big bonus for that.

Geraint Thomas - Ineos Grenadiers to unknown

Geraint Thomas on stage two of the 2021 Tour de France

Geraint Thomas on stage two of the 2021 Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's been an especially hard season for Geraint Thomas as the 2018 Tour de France winner has just not been able to find any luck in two of his biggest objectives of the 2021 season.

Crashing on stage three of the Tour de France saw his hopes of the overall classification go up in smoke as he dislocated his shoulder, slowly slipping down the order before supporting team-mate Richard Carapaz to third overall.

He then headed to Japan for the road race and time trial in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but, much like in the Rio 2016 Games, he suffered bad luck through a crash that saw him lose touch on the climbs before DNFing. He then put in a solid 12th in the time trial before likely ending his 2021 season.

The rumours of him potentially moving on come due to his contract coming to an end and the potential for a new challenge. The Welshman has been with the British team of Ineos Grenadiers for 11 years but there is a possibility that he will be in different colours for the 2022 season, in a surprising move to match the one by Chris Froome when he left to join Israel Start-Up Nation for this season.

There are no teams rumoured to be his next destination as of yet, but with the transfer window officially open, time will tell what Thomas will decide.

Rohan Dennis - Ineos Grenadiers to Jumbo-Visma

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Image)

Recent bronze medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in the individual time trial, Rohan Dennis has shown that he still definitely has great legs on the bike even though he has not been given a chance at the first two Grand Tours of the year by Ineos Grenadiers.

Dennis, who has been with the British team for two years, is set to be joining the Dutch squad of Jumbo-Visma, joining the gold and silver medalist in the Olympic time trial in Primož Roglič and Tom Dumoulin as well as Belgian star Wout van Aert in what will be one of the strongest mountain trains in the pro peloton.

The Australian time trial specialist has just got two wins to his name at Ineos with them both coming in 2021 and against the clock, but his work for the team's leaders has been his most important asset.

His biggest role with the team was when he dragged Tao Geoghegan Hart up the Stelvio in last year's Giro with only Jai Hindley (DSM) able to follow, laying the way for the British rider to go into pink and win the race a few days later.

Elia Viviani - Cofidis to EOLO-Kometa

Elia Viviani at the 2021 Giro d'Italia

Elia Viviani at the 2021 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Elia Viviani was a surprise signing for Cofidis as he joined the French WorldTour squad from Deceuninck - Quick-Step after a very successful two-year period.

Since joining Cofidis in 2020, however, he has taken just three wins with only one of them actually in the colours of Cofidis. The other two were riding for the Italian national team in the Adriatica Ionica Race.

The rumours started coming in that Viviani would likely be joining Italian ProTeam EOLO-Kometa for the 2022 season alongside his brother, Attilio. EOLO-Kometa, owned by former pros Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso, are hoping to sign some of Italy's biggest names in the future so they can try to get into the WorldTour and Viviani could be one of those names.

He does need to find form from somewhere though. He will hope that he can ride the wave of being the flag bearer in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games for Italy and maybe retain his Madison gold medal to get his form going again.

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