In a shocking announcement on social media today, Bora-Hansgrohe have chosen to change tactics and opt to tackle the Tour De France without Sam Bennett.
The team unusually released their team news for the biggest Grand Tour of the year on the Band Of Brothers | Bora-hansgrohe cycling podcast avoiding the traditional methods.
Asked about the reasoning for going with the selected team of riders, Director Sportif (DS) Rolf Aldag said "We first have to say it's not an easy decision, it's never an easy decision. These eight guys representing Bora-Hansgrohe I think they deserve it. Why? Let's say because they are of actual shape and what they've already proved this year. We have seen that we have done really good in stage races in general. I think this is the hint here to say which direction the team is going to go and what do we need to continue this path of becoming a GC (general classification) team".
Bennett won the points classification jersey in the 2020 edition of the race, winning two stages along the way but missed out last year due to injury while riding for Decuenick Quick-Step. At the end of last season, he rejoined Bora-Hansgrohe whom he had previously ridden for.
The former Irish champion has been short on podium finishes since his season began at the UAE Tour in February. A win on the one-day race Eschborn-Frankfurt is his only first place this year, while he did place fourth on the final day of Baloise Belgium Tour last month.
It would have been widely expected for the German team to build their tour prospects around the Carrick-On-Suir man, but they have instead opted for a general classification (GC) tilt backing Aleksandr Vlasov.
The Russian 26-year-old came to Bora from Astana during the winter break and has impressed team management this season. He led the Tour of Switzerland prior to withdrawing due to covid-19. DS Aldag noted that “We are aiming for the podium. It’s a tough goal but when we see Aleksandr Vlasov’s results, it’s a realistic goal”
Bennett's teammate Ryan Mullen has also not made the cut. The 2021 Irish road race and five-time time trial champion would have definitely fancied a crack at one of the flatter stages.
— BORA – hansgrohe (@BORAhansgrohe) June 27, 2022