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.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
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: “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.