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VN ticker: Contador, Ullrich ride Mallorca 312, Benoot to leave DSM, Steels re-ups with Quick-Step

Here's the news making headlines for Monday, October 25.

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Alberto Contador, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, Óscar Freire ride Mallorca 312 fondo

Weekend warriors and grand tour winners bumped shoulders at the leading Mallorca 312 gran fondo this weekend.

Alberto Contador, Jan Ullrich, Joseba Beloki, and Óscar Freire all took part in the annual mass-participation ride through the island’s cycling paradise. The four were acting as ambassadors for the ride, which offers distances of 312, 225, and 167km.

Mallorcan rider Mavi Garcia was also invited to the event in recognition of her securing the Spanish TT and road titles this year.

Although it’s unknown what distance Ullrich and Freire rode, Contador posted his 225km ride to Strava, commenting, “Today I rode the middle distance on the Mallorca 312, spectacular as always!”

No KOMs were taken on the island’s iconic climbs, but Contador did set an average pace of 31.5kph over the relentlessly lumpy parcours.

Beloki rode the full 312km route, completing the arduous 4,600-meter ascent circuit in 11 hours of saddle time.

Report: Tiesj Benoot to break contract with Team DSM

Tiesj Benoot is looking for an early exit from Team DSM, reports the typically well-informed Wielerflits.

Benoot is currently signed through 2022 with the German squad, but Wielerflits reports Monday that a rift within the team has led to both parties looking to dissolve the deal one year ahead of time.

Should the report be true, Benoot would be one in a long line of top riders to break contract with Team DSM (formerly Sunweb). Marcel Kittel, Tom Dumoulin, Michael Matthews, and Marc Hirschi have all left the team under dark clouds in recent seasons.

Benoot, 27, has become one of the leading riders during his two years with DSM and is a shoo-in for both their classics and grand tour stage-hunter squads.

Team DSM will also see the exit of top riders Jai Hindley, Michael Storer, and Jasha Sutterlin over the off-season. Chad Haga also confirmed Sunday he will be leaving the team after seven years.

VeloNews has reached out to DSM for comment about Benoot but is yet to receive a response.

Stijn Steels re-ups with Deceuninck-Quick-Step

Stijn Steels, who joined Deceuninck-Quick-Step in 2020, will continue with the Belgian outfit during 2022 in the team’s 20th season, officials confirmed.

“It’s incredible to be part of this group, of this fantastic squad that just keeps on winning,” he said. “The professionalism is so high, that it makes such a big difference to be a rider here or in another team. Everyone in the team, every staff member, tries to do his job in the best way possible and that gives you extra motivation to keep on performing. That’s the biggest strength here.”