Bennett to lead Deceuninck-Quickstep in Australia on debut for new team
Irish road champion Sam Bennett has been confirmed as the team leader in his debut for new side Deceuninck-Quickstep at the Tour Down Under.
Bennett, 29, joined Deceuninck-Quickstep over the offseason from Bora-Hansgrohe as a replacement for Elia Viviani.
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The three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner will be the leader for his new team for the Tour Down Under which gets underway towards the end of January as the traditional curtain-raiser for the new season.
"We are looking forward to starting the new season again at the Tour Down Under, where it is always a pleasure to be present, as it’s such a well-organised race with amazing fans," Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Rik Van Slycke said in a team statement.
"We go there with a strong team and a motivated Sam Bennett, who will try to get his first victory in the Deceuninck-QuickStep jersey.
“He’ll have experienced men around him, so we are confident he can achieve this goal.
“We can also think about getting a good GC result, but we’ll take it day by day, see how things go and how our riders cope with the heat."
The rest of the seven man-team contains Shane Archbold, who followed Bennett from Bora, as well as Iljo Keisse, Michael Morkov, Joao Almeida, Mattia Cattaneo and Dries Devenyns.