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Tiesj Benoot released from Team DSM

Belgian all-rounder Benoot leaves DSM one year ahead of contract date.

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Tiesj Benoot has been released from his contract with Team DSM.

According to the statement made by the team on Tuesday, Benoot “could not deliver on his commitments, which reflected in performances both on and off the bike.”

The 27-year-old Belgian has been locked into negotiations with DSM management in recent weeks in a bid to secure an early exit from a deal originally stretching through 2022. Reports link Benoot with Team Jumbo-Visma for the coming season.

The news comes in the wake of young Belgian talent Ilan van Wilder also breaking contract with DSM to join Deceuninck-Quick-Step earlier this autumn.

“Team DSM has agreed to terminate their contract with Tiesj Benoot from 2022 onwards. During their 2021 campaign, it became clear that Benoot could not deliver on his commitments, which reflected in performances both on and off the bike,” reads the team statement.

“In favor of positive dynamics with riders and staff within the team, as well as around it, the team have thus cooperated with the termination of Benoot’s agreement.”

Benoot won the 2018 Strade Bianche, and in 2020 he was second at Paris-Nice. The Belgian all-rounder came close but never hit the podium in 2021, with fifth at Paris-Nice, twelfth at the Tour of Flanders, and seventh at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

“I have good memories here at Team DSM, with some great opportunities and I have learned a lot. It’s fun to be part of this team, but it’s also demanding. That is not a negative towards the team; the many staff and specialists, as well as teammates, are all really passionate, that’s why riders can get a lot out of themselves. I just wasn’t fully able to go for it together. I wish the team, my colleagues, and teammates all the best,” Benoot said.

While the split was cordial, neither Benoot nor Team DSM management was interested in repairing contract negotiations, and the squad offered him best wishes on his exit and future.

“Tiesj is a gifted rider with great athletic capability, who can perform on a multitude of terrain. He has shown some great performances as a member of Team DSM for which Team DSM are very thankful,” the Team DSM statement read.

Benoot and van Wilder join a long list of riders to leave the team under dark skies. Marcel Kittel, Warren Barguil, Tom Dumoulin, Michael Matthews, and more recently Marc Hirschi have all left the Team DSM set-up under fractious circumstances. The squad also saw the exit of Jai Hindley, Michael Storer, and Jasha Sutterlin this past season.