Sam Bennett will leave Deceuninck-QuickStep at the end of the season after failing to agree a new deal.
Team boss Patrick Lefevere confirmed that talks had broken down with the 30-year-old Irishman, who won the green jersey at the Tour de France last year.
“He doesn’t want to leave, but I don’t have as much money as certain others,” Lefevere told Dutch media outlet Wielerflits at the Giro d’Italia.
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“I used to have to negotiate for two days during the Tour de France but now I am under siege by managers for two days. I had to go from meeting to meeting.
Is it purely a matter of money? You should ask him. Maybe his manager wants that.
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Bennett only joined Deceuninck in 2020 and immediately settled, winning two stages at the Tour in September as he ended Peter Sagan’s stranglehold on the points classification in France.
He is currently competing at the Tour of the Algarve, where he was won two stages.
“At a certain point I can no longer be convinced. I have to flip the switch," continued Lefevere.
"These types of riders leaving is a fact of life. As pros they have to earn as much money as possible. But look at the sprinters who left us. Some riders came walking back.”
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The news could be a boost for Mark Cavendish, one of the riders Lefevere was probably referring to in his "walking back" comment, who could be handed more opportunities at Deceuninck.
Cavendish won four stages at the recent Tour of Turkey as he bids to win at Grand Tours again.
Joao Almeida will also leave Deceuninck after the 2021 season after failing to agree a new contract.
"Joao Almeida will leave our team next year," added Lefevere. "His manager has shown relatively little respect in the negotiations."
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