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Bahrain-Merida has terminated the contract of world time trial champion Rohan Dennis.
The team announced on Sunday that it had cut ties with Dennis just over two weeks ago on September 13, waiting to make the news public “to allow Mr Dennis an undisturbed preparation for the UCI 2019 Road World Championships.”
Dennis secured his second consecutive TT title in Yorkshire earlier this week.
Dennis’s future with the team seemed uncertain following a rocky summer that saw the 29-year-old Australian surprisingly withdraw from the Tour de France on stage 12, one day before a time trial in which he would have been a favorite for the win. According to various media reports, disputes over equipment and clothing contributed to a rift between rider and team.
Dennis did not race for Bahrain-Merida again after pulling out of the Tour in July. Publicly, he would not go into detail on the possibility of a split with the team, but the disconnect with Bahrain-Merida was made clearer as he raced for the Australian selection at Worlds this week on a BMC bike, rather than a team issue Merida.
According to a short statement from Bahrain-Merida, Dennis’s contract with the squad was terminated before Worlds even began.
“Mr Dennis has referred the termination to the UCI Arbitral Board,” read the statement. “Against this background, no further comment will be made at this time.”
What that means for Dennis and his future remains to be seen. According to Cyclingnews, Dennis’s agent was pursuing conversations with other teams in August. CCC reportedly made an offer that was not accepted at the time, but the team remains a possible destination for Dennis, who raced with the previous iteration of the team, BMC.