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by Dane Cash
July 31, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
Roughly one year after Rohan Dennis pulled out of the Tour de France, never to race for the Bahrain-Merida team again, the UCI has dismissed his complaint seeking compensation for the team’s termination of his contract.
The reigning world time trial champ has a monthlong period in which he can file an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Dennis, who joined Ineos over the offseason, stunned the cycling world when he withdrew from the Tour last July on the eve of a time trial for which he would have been among the top favorites for victory. The 30-year-old Australian, who had joined Bahrain-Merida at the start of the year, did not race for the team again.
Dennis initially avoided speaking publicly on his departure from the race but later explained on the Watts Occurring podcast of Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe that he had been “struggling mentally and in the end it was affecting home life and it was only going to get worse so I decided what’s best for my family and jogged on.”
A little over two months after his Tour exit, Dennis rode to his second career world time trial title in Yorkshire. Bahrain-Merida (which has since become Bahrain-McLaren) announced only a few days later on September 29 that it had terminated his contract prior to the Worlds on September 13, delaying the announcement “to allow Mr Dennis an undisturbed preparation for the UCI 2019 Road World Championships.”
Dennis filed a complaint over the termination with the UCI Arbitral Board, and neither rider nor team went into much detail publicly over the case in the ensuing months. Now, the Arbitral Board has apparently dismissed the claim.
“The UCI Arbitral Board issued today (30.07.2020) a decision in the case opposing Mr. Rohan Dennis to the paying agent Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team of the UCI WorldTeam Bahrain-McLaren,” the UCI said in a statement sent to CyclingTips.
“The Panel dismissed the rider’s claims. The decision may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within thirty days.”
As of Thursday afternoon, neither Dennis nor the Bahrain-McLaren team had yet to make any public acknowledgement of the news.