Sam Bennett is now free to leave Bora-Hansgrohe after dispute, according to Patrick Lefevere

The Irish sprint star has been trying to break free from an early agreement with his team

Sam Bennett at the Vuelta a España 2019 (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett is now free to leave Bora-Hansgrohe after his fight against an early agreement with the squad, according to Quick-Step boss Patrick Lefevere.

The Irish sprinter is believed to have signed an offer letter in May that he would stay with the German WorldTour squad for 2020, which the team were using to stop him leaving the team at the end of the season.

Bennett wants to leave Bora after he was left out of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France squads, and is believed to be on his way to Deceuninck – Quick-Step.

Patrick Lefevere, the long-standing team boss at Quick-Step, has said Bennett is now free to sign with his team.

Lefevere told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (opens in new tab): “Of course, you are only certain when you have a signed contract in your hands, but it is just about done.

“A good thing too because the case has been dragging on for so long. I suspect they will have waited as long as possible at Bora-Hansgrohe.

“In the end they realised that you can’t do much with a rider you want to keep against his will, so I’m in happy expectation.”

In late August, Cycling Weekly reported that Bennett was fighting to break free of an early agreement with his team as Bora-Hansgrohe wanted to keep him on the roster.

Bennett was frustrated with his team after management opted to back German sprinter Pascal Ackermann for the Giro d’Italia while Peter Sagan took up his usual leadership duties at the Tour de France, leaving Bennett with only the Vuelta a España on his Grand Tour schedule despite a year of fantastic results.

The 29-year-old is expected to take the star sprinter spot at Quick-Step, as their established powerhouse Elia Viviani is leaving for Cofidis.

With Quick-Step’s Álvaro Hodeg and Fabio Jakobsen emerging as the front-runners of the next generation of sprinters, Lefevere is happy to support Bennett as the most experienced fastman on the team.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.