Bahrain-Merida terminate contract with Rohan Dennis

Team announced termination during World Championships road race

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bahrain-Merida have announced that they have terminated the contract of Rohan Dennis with immediate effect.

The team announced the termination during the elite men's road race at the Road World Championships in Yorkshire, where Dennis had been racing as part of the Australian team.

>>> Mads Pedersen takes shock victory at Yorkshire World Championships

The contract termination took place on September 13 according to the statement released by the team, but was not made public until after the World Championships to allow Dennis space to prepare.

"The team terminated its contract with Mr Dennis on 13th September 2019," a team statement read.

"This termination has not previously been made public to allow Mr Dennis an undisturbed preparation for the UCI 2019 Road World Championships."

"Mr Dennis has referred the termination to the UCI Arbitral Board. Against this background, no further comment will be made at this time."

Having only joined the team at the start of the 2019 season, a rift between the team and Dennis spilled into public view at the Tour de France after the 29-year-old mysteriously abandoned the race on stage 12 with no explanation.

The Tour's only individual time trial was coming on the next stage, with the now two-time world time trial champion a clear favourite for victory. Allegedly however, the differences between the team and the rider developed because of Dennis dissatisfaction with the equipment provided to him for time trials.

He won his second time trial World title just this week on board a blacked-out BMC Timemachine time trial bike instead of a team issue Merida, and on Sunday rode a BMC Teammachine road bike in the Worlds road race, which he abandoned as the race entered Harrogate.

Dennis did not race again for the team following his abrupt abandonment of the Tour and instead trained specifically for the time trial in Yorkshire last Wednesday.

In an interview in his time out of racing, Dennis had initially said he expected to stay with the team heading into the 2020 season, but he is now back on the market and will be an attractive proposition for a number of WorldTour teams.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).