Sam Bennett returns to BORA - hansgrohe
After two years apart, Bennett, who had previously spent six years in Ralph Denk’s team, will be returning to his roots. With Danny van Poppel, Shane Archbold and Ryan Mullen, the Irishman will be joined by a powerful sprint squad. All four riders have received two-year contracts.
"I'm very pleased that Sam is returning to us. We've been together for several years, he turned pro with us and we developed him into one of the best sprinters in the peloton. It's no secret that his departure hurt us a lot at the time. However, I can understand that he felt that step was important for his career. I’d say that only worked out partially. We are a team that places a lot of value on cohesion, respect and sustainable cooperation, as we believe that these are the foundations for long-term success. You can have disagreements sometimes. However, as long as you treat each other with respect, you will always find each other again. That was also the case here. We have clear goals with Sam and I am confident that with our support he will be able to achieve several victories over the coming years. He is undisputedly one of the very best sprinters in the world and has proven this by winning the green jersey at the 2020 Tour. We have also put together a strong sprint train for him. Danny in particular will play a pivotal role. As a sprinter, he has both the experience and the speed to place and impose himself accordingly in fast finishes. Even though the role is new to him, I have every confidence in him. Shane has also been with us for many years, so we know his strengths. And Ryan has the fast pace necessary to keep the other guys in position ahead of the final kilometre. I think we are very well positioned with these new signings." - Ralph Denk, Team Manager
“I am very excited about returning to BORA – hansgrohe. I had six incredible years with this team and I really feel like I grew up as a pro rider during this period. It was a really difficult decision to leave, but I decided I needed to continue my professional and personal development in a new environment. While some may have questioned my decision at the time, I believe it is the right move for me to return to BORA - hansgrohe. I have enjoyed two great years at Deceuninck - Quick-Step, my boyhood dream team, and have continued my development both on and off the bike whilst making lifelong friendships. However, I feel ready to go back home to be the team leader that I want to be, and know BORA - hansgrohe also wants me to be. I know the team will have a slightly different roster than when I left, but the core group of people who are responsible for the team’s successful environment remains. I am ready to embrace the role of a team leader, to help drive the team forward so we can win together. With the invaluable insight of BORA – hansgrohe’s high performance department, we've selected three incredibly talented riders to work by my side. Ryan Mullen, my compatriot, is a superb time triallist and has always impressed me with his strength when we raced together for Ireland. Shane Archbold is one of the world's best and most experienced lead out men and a rider whose knowledge of bunch sprinting is only surpassed by his own sprint speed. He is the rider I have raced alongside the most even before my pro-career. It goes without saying that Danny van Poppel is an immensely successful sprinter himself and it is rare in cycling for a rider to be so capable of reading a race that he never finds himself out of position even in the most competitive bunch sprints. The four of us have different strengths and we believe the amalgamation of our skills will make for a very competitive sprint train. These riders are not only cyclists of impressive calibre in their own right, but will also add to the camaraderie within the team. I look forward to reconnecting with teammates that I shared victories with before, Lukas, Max, Patrick, Emu, CeCe and Felix, it's great to step back into a team with such familiarity. Friendship aids morale and we will have morale in spades at BORA - hansgrohe. Currently I am still dealing with the knee injury which forced me to miss the Tour de France, but I am confident I will overcome this small setback and get back to where I want to be soon - winning races. Injuries are part of life, I’ve had them before and have overcome them, this is just another hurdle to conquer on life's journey. I want to thank the staff of Deceuninck – Quick-Step for a great couple of years. There are a lot of people that I will miss and I wish them all the very best for the future. Finally, I’d like to say a particular thank you to Ralph Denk for giving me the opportunity to re-join such a supportive team environment. I look forward to racing alongside old friends again and hopefully contributing to many victories back in the BORA - hansgrohe jersey over the coming seasons.” – Sam Bennett
"I am really looking forward to the new challenge, because BORA - hansgrohe is a very professional team. For me, a new chapter of my career will be starting, because until now I have always been a sprinter, and now I will fully concentrate on the lead-out. So I will support Sam to the best of my ability. It's going to be exciting. Sam is not only one of the fastest men in the field, he's also a really nice guy. In my new role I will probably have to learn a lot. On the other hand, I am very experienced in sprinting, so that makes me confident that we will be very successful for BORA - hansgrohe." - Danny van Poppel
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to return to BORA – hansgrohe and I am really motivated to build on the success we enjoyed together for their team in the past. I have a great relationship with the staff and I’m excited to be re-joining them in 2022. I’d like to thank everyone at Deceuninck – Quick-Step for an enjoyable couple of seasons riding in the Wolfpack and wish the team the best for the future.” – Shane Archbold
"I've had a great four seasons with Trek - Segafredo but I'm really looking forward to a new challenge with BORA - hansgrohe, a new chapter of my pro-cycling career. I'm pulling on the BORA - hansgrohe jersey with even more motivation and hunger for racing success in the upcoming years. There's some amazing talent within the team already and I'm really looking forward to joining them and getting stuck in." - Ryan Mullen