Rohan Dennis, whose contract with Bahrain-Merida was terminated during the men’s road race at the Yorkshire World Championships, could be on his way to Movistar, as the Australian shops around for a new team before the start of the 2020 season.
The two-time world time trial champion successfully defended his rainbow bands in Yorkshire, beating Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel by more than a minute. However, the quest for a new contract will not be a similar race against the clock, as Dennis will have many suitors this off-season looking to acquire his signature.
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According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Movistar could be a likely destination, with the Spanish team’s interest in the 29-year-old “very real” and they are already working towards making signing Dennis a reality.
With a number of high-profile departures, including Mikel Landa to Bahrain-Merida, Nairo Quintana to Arkéa-Samsic and Richard Carapaz to Ineos, Movistar are looking to replenish their ranks with star riders and Dennis would go some way to achieving that aim.
At this stage Dennis is in control of his situation, with a number of teams offering him a space on their rosters for the 2020 season. It’s up to the Australian to decide where will work for him and how lucrative each contract offer is. Dimension Data (soon to be known as NTT) is apparently one option, despite the signing of Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts, as is CCC.
Another factor will be the equipment at Dennis’ disposal, with the time trial specialist using his old BMC Timemachine rather than his trade team’s Merida bike to tackle the Harrogate course and defend his title.
This was the first time Dennis had raced since his headline-grabbing abandon of the Tour de France where the Australian climbed off during stage 12, apparently unhappy with the equipment provided to him for the time trials.
Bahrain-Merida announced during the men’s road race at the Yorkshire World Championships on September 29 that they had terminated Dennis’ contract on September 13 but had not made this information public to allow the rider the space to prepare for the Worlds.
The team also confirmed that Dennis had referred the termination to the UCI Arbitral Board.