Sam Bennett has rejoined Bora-Hansgrohe following his departure from Deceuninck-QuickStep.
The 30-year-old Irish rider spent two years at the Belgian side but left in controversial circumstances.
He won two stages of the 2020 Tour de France, as well as the Green jersey, but was replaced for this year’s Tour at the last minute by Mark Cavendish after a dispute over a knee injury.
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Team boss Patrick Lefevere compared his return to Bora-Hansgrohe to domestic abuse in comments which drew widespread criticism, and also previously questioned the mental strength of the rider.
This will be Bennett’s second spell at his new team having been with them from 2014 until 2019, but he left when Peter Sagan and Pascal Ackermann were prioritised ahead of him. Sagan and Ackermann will be at different teams next season which has opened up a spot for Bennett, and he will be accompanied by Deceuninck-QuickStep colleague Shane Archbold.
He will be joined by Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo) and Danny van Poppel (Intermarche Wanty - Gobert Matériaux).
Sean Kelly reacts as Sam Bennett joins him as an Irish green jersey winner
The spot for Bennett at Bora opened up thanks to the departures of Sagan and Ackermann earlier this month.
In an open and honest statement, manager Ralph Denk revealed that the riders' aims did not align with those of the team.
“There are different reasons why we are parting ways now,” he said. “As far as Peter is concerned, we were in negotiations until the end. Of course, I can't disclose details, but both sides worked constructively on solutions and we both wanted to proceed into the future together.
“However, we have also developed as a team, and we aim to continue this development.
We have already made some strategic decisions and ultimately, Peter decided that there is another option available to him that is more in line with his ideas.
"I have full respect for that.
“We would have loved to continue working with Pascal, but he decided it was time for something new. A change of pace can sometimes be important, I can understand that, but I would have preferred him to take on the coming years with us.”
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