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Although riders in his position customarily need to wait until the end of the season before they are able to move from one squad to another, the Australian rider Rohan Dennis has been given a green light by his Garmin-Sharp team, the BMC Racing Team and the UCI to transfer to the latter team with immediate effect.
He is expected to ride the Vuelta a España with his new squad.
Dennis, who turned professional with Garmin-Sharp in 2013 and won the Tour of Alberta, is regarded as one of the most promising young riders in the sport. This season he won a stage of the Amgen Tour of California in May and finished second overall. He was also second overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe and took second and third in time trials at Critérium International and the Tour de Suisse, respectively.
The 24 year old was allowed move after the UCI and the Professional Cycling Council gave a green light to the rare mid-season agreement between the two teams.
“Rohan is a great athlete,” said Garmin Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters, who is nevertheless releasing him early. “He has been a solid team member and together we have achieved great success, including a stage win at year’s Tour of California and the overall win of 2013 Tour of Alberta.
“However, we understood his desire to work again with his former director Allan Peiper, when he was given the opportunity to do so in 2015. Rather than prolong the inevitable, we came up with a rare transfer solution that works best for Rohan and both teams. We view this move as not only a good step for the athlete and teams, but as major progress in the way the sport of cycling handles rider transfers. We wish Rohan luck in his new team.”
Details of the transfer were not revealed, including whether or not Garmin-Sharp were given a transfer fee by the BMC Racing Team.
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said that he believed the transfer would vastly improve the team’s ability “to be competitive in races that have prologues and time trials.
“Rohan will also play a leadership role in some one-day races and one-week stage races that fit his profile. We expect him to a big asset in Grand Tours and one-day races, too, where he will have a working role.”
The rider thanked Vaughters for agreeing to the move, and also for his time with the team. He said he was thankful for the opportunities he had there plus the success he had achieved.
Dennis added that returning to work alongside Peiper – who moved from one American team to the other – was a big part of his decision. “My first experience with professional teams was with him at the Tour Down Under when I went to Garmin-Sharp,” he said.
“I think he is one of the best guys to look after me and I am looking forward to working with him as part of another great team. I am very excited for my future at the BMC Racing Team.”
He said that his goals were to start winning time trials in Europe and to finish on the final podium of stage races in Europe.
The acquisition could boost the team’s chances of winning the world championship team time trial in September.