After much speculation and uncertainty it finally appears that Sam Bennett and Shane Archbold will ride in wolf pack colours in the 2020 season; with a move to Deceuninck-QuickStep appearing imminent.
BORA-hansgrohe have released Sam Bennett from his contract with the team, freeing the Irishman up to join Deceuninck-QuickStep; the team he’s long been linked with. Rumours about Bennett’s connection to the team have been plentiful over the past months, and with the likes of Elia Viviani and Max Richeze leaving the team the door has appeared to be open for Sam Bennett and Shane Archbold to enter the fray.
The team of Pascal Ackermann, Peter Sagan and Sam Bennett have felt a little overcrowded in terms of sprinting options over the last couple of seasons; with Bennett staking a claim for being the in form sprinter of 2019. That said, he had to wait until the Vuelta a Espana to get any kind of grand tour opportunity; and it has been three years since the three-time Giro stage winner and two-time Vuelta stage winner got a shot at the Tour de France; with the team siding with Peter Sagan every time.
Finally, however, BORA-hansgrohe have issued a statement releasing Bennett from any commitment to the team in 2020. In it the team say, “Over the last six years, BORA-hansgrohe developed Sam Bennett into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. Against this background it however became more and more difficult to align the team’s and rider’s goals.
“Therefore, BORA-hansgrohe’s management has decided to accept Sam Bennett’s wish to leave BORA-hansgrohe and continue his journey with another team.
“BORA-hansgrohe wishes Sam Bennett all the best for his future and hopes that he can live up to his sporting dreams.”
For much of the 2019 season it’s been a case of where Bennett goes Archbold follows. The two have a very close professional relationship on the road, with Archbold being to Bennett very similar to what Mark Renshaw was to Mark Cavendish. It is expected, therefore, that after starting the year at continental level with EvoPro Racing, getting a last minute call up to the BORA-Hansgrohe team and racing all the way through the season to the point of tackling the Vuelta this year with Bennett; the flying mullet may get an opportunity to chance his arm in the team that has more wins to its name in 2019 than any other outfit with 68.