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‘Frustrated and sad’: US talent Sean Bennett retires at 26

Californian Hagens Berman Axeon graduate ends career after spending time with EF Education First, Qhubeka-Assos.

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Californian road racer Sean Bennett confirmed Sunday he was calling time on his very young career.

The 26-year-old made the call to hang up his cleats after struggling to find a squad for 2023.

“Some nice memories over the last few years,” he said. “Pretty frustrated and sad about how the last few months went down. Watched my career slip away from me and leave me without a team for next year.

“It’s been a frustrating few winters being in this situation where a team folds or changes their idea at the last minute. I’d hoped to continue but nothing materialized this year and it’s time to say goodbye,” Bennett wrote on Instagram.

Also read: WorldTour rookie Sean Bennett embarks on season of discovery

Bennett saw a rollercoaster ride through his time at the top of the sport.

After short spells with the American Jelly Belly and Hagens Berman Axeon squads, Bennett saw two seasons with EF Education First. It proved a wild few years that delivered two Giro d’Italia starts, a handful of marquee top-1os, and the COVID shutdown.

Bennett then switched from the EF team to Qhubeka-Assos, only to see Doug Ryder’s squad collapse at the close of 2021.

Bennett looked last year to the fledgling China Glory Continental squad for a life raft while he hunted a return to the WorldTour for 2023.

However, the El Cerrito-born climber indicated in the winter that his relationship with the team “degraded,” leaving him without a home for the new year.

He has since been unable to find a new contract.

“Thanks for the people that had my back in past times like this and supported me through it,” Bennett wrote when he signed off from pro cycling.