Australian leaves BMC after four and a half seasons

Bahrain-Merida have confirmed they have signed Rohan Dennis on a two-year contract from BMC Racing.

Dennis was strongly rumoured to be leaving BMC for Bahrain, having spent four and a half seasons with the American team.

The Australian joined BMC in an unusual mid-season transfer from Garmin-Sharp in 2014.

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Since then, Dennis has gone on to take his best professional results. He won his first WorldTour overall title at the Tour Down Under in 2015, before taking victory and the yellow jersey on the stage one time trial of the 2015 Tour de France in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The 28-year-old has worn the leader’s jersey in all three Grand Tours, completing the hat-trick this year after taking pink at the Giro d’Italia on stage two. A BMC win in the opening team time trial of 2017 Vuelta a España gave him a single day stint in the red jersey.

One of the world’s best time triallists, Dennis has tried to switch focus towards general classification results at Grand Tours, but has so far scored a best result of 16th overall at this year’s Giro.

Bahrain-Merida believe that Dennis’s future still lies in Grand Tours, and add him to their roster which include four-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali.

“Making this announcement makes us all very proud,” said team manager Brent Copeland.

“Rohan adds a great value to the team, not only as one of the world best time triallist, but we believe his ability to race in the general classification of Grand Tours is where we want to invest in and we are all very excited to be able to work together.

“Rohan is a true professional in all areas and we feel his professional mentality fits our team perfectly. His enthusiasm and exciting way of racing will definitely bring something special to the team. We welcome him and we’re excited to be able to support him through all his success he deserves with us.”

“I am extremely excited to be joining Bahrain Merida for the next two years,” Dennis said.

“The organisation has been upfront and honest about their plans and objectives for me the entire time, which is really positive. As I know, we are working towards the same goals.

“I’m looking forward to working with a team that is going to invest in my future and I am very keen to see what we can achieve together.

“I would like to thank all at BMC for a great past four years where I felt I made good progress in my career and I can’t wait to continue that progress with Bahrain Merida.”