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Sam Bennett's move to Deceuninck-QuickStep confirmed

Joe Robinson
3 Dec 2019

Irish sprinter joins on two-year deal alongside lead out man Shane Archbold

Deceuninck-QuickStep have confirmed the signing of Irish sprinter Sam Bennett to complete their roster for 2020. The Belgian WorldTour team, that was recently crowned the most successful team in the world for an eighth consecutive season, announced Bennett would join on a two-year deal taking him through to 2022.

He joins alongside lead-out rider Shane Archbold, who also signs on a two-year deal. It brings a definite end the public contract dispute between Bennett and his now-former Bora-Hansgrohe team.

Being omitted from the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France and the presence of fellow sprinters Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann saw Bennett seek to leave the German team for 2020. However, the team argued that Bennett was still under contract for the following year and therefore, not free to leave.

Bennett eventually took the case to the UCI before Bora-Hansgrohe stepped back and allowed the rider to look for a new team. Waiting in the wings were Deceuninck-Quickstep, who were hunting a replacement for the Cofidis-bound Elia Viviani.

Now confirmed, team manager Patrick Lefevere is looking forward to building around the Giro and Vuelta a Espana stage winner.

'The protracted nature of Sam’s move has been well documented but I am delighted to have him on board,' said Lefevere.

'His palmares alone speaks volumes about his talent and determination, but he is also a great character and another leader to have around the team. We all cannot wait to start working with him.'

Bennett, who was born in Belgium, expressed his delight at joining the team although mentioned it was slightly 'daunting' considering their previous success.

'I am delighted to get to sign with Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team I had a poster of on my wall when I was a kid. I remember going to a race with An Post and seeing QuickStep at races and I was intimidated by such a big team,' said Bennett.

'I never thought I would be good enough to sign for them, so to be able to say that I am riding for them is a dream come true and I can’t wait to get to work with the guys and starting working and racing with them.

'It is a daunting task to race for this team, but it is motivating and a challenge, having been with my previous team for so long and I feel refreshed.'