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Sam Bennett to join Deceuninck-Quickstep as replacement for Viviani, reports suggest

Joe Robinson
8 Jul 2019

Irishman set to leave Bora-Hansgrohe as Viviani offered big money deal with Cofidis

Sam Bennett could have found a new team in Deceuninck-Quickstep as reports suggest he will act as a replacement for Elia Viviani, who has been tempted to second-tier ProContinental team Cofidis in a lucrative contract deal.

Bennett is expected to leave his current Bora-Hansgrohe team at the end of the season after being demoted to third-choice sprinter behind Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann.

This saw the Irishman miss out on selection for both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, with the 28-year-old eventually settling for a place at the Vuelta a Espana in August.

The inability to forge a place in Bora's Giro or Tour teams sparked Bennett's interest in a move, and L'Equipe are reporting that it is Patrick Lefevere's Deceuninck-Quickstep who are said to be leading the chase.

Lefevere is interesting in the services of the three-time Giro stage winner as it is believed that current sprinter Viviani has had his head turned by Cofidis who are set to offer him €1.5million per year.

Viviani is being sought out by Cofidis as a replacement to Nacer Bouhanni, who is out of contract at the end of the year and unlikely to sign a renewal due to friction between the rider and team management.

The eight-time Grand Tour stage winner is currently racing the Tour de France having raced a disappointing Giro d'Italia in which he missed out on a stage victory.

It is expected that compatriot and lead-out man Fabio Sabatini will move as part of the deal.

Cofidis' ploy to bring in Viviani is part of preparations to move into the WorldTour for 2020. The UCI is set to be increasing the number of teams in the WorldTour for next season with Cofidis and fellow French team Direct Energie leading the way.

It could be a winter of big change for Lefevere's Deceuninck team.

While they have managed to retain the services of Julian Alaphilippe, who was offered a rumoured €3million deal with Direct Energie, Philippe Gilbert and Max Richeze are also expected to join Viviani and Sabatini in leaving the Belgian team however there future teams are yet to be confirmed.