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Sam Welsford is moving to Bora-hansgrohe where he will take over the lead-out line-up assembled for Sam Bennett two years ago (Photo by Rhode Photo)

Sam Welsford is moving from World Tour squad Team dsm-firmenich after signing for Bora-hansgrohe, where he will become the main sprinter, replacing Sam Bennett. The Irish rider is leaving after two years, during what as a second stint with the team.

And while Bennett’s destination for next year has not yet been confirmed – though AG2R Citroën Team looks likely – Welsford is certain where he’ll be racing next season and who his lead-out train will be.

He will team up with Danny van Poppel and Ryan Mullen, who were brought into Bora-hansgrohe, along with Shane Archbold, as Bennett’s lead-out men. Welsford has already been talking about how he feels about joining the German team and inheriting Bennett’s lead-out train.

“I would… call it healthy tension, although above all I’m just looking forward to it. It is a great opportunity and a new path in my career,” he said. “I am extremely grateful to DSM-Firmenich for the past few years. It’s great that they gave me a chance as a track cyclist, especially because many other teams didn’t.

“At dsm-firmenich I was able to develop into the sprinter I am today. And with a view to next year, I’m just very curious to see what that adventure will bring me. I have already spoken to a few guys from that team and based on that I can say that things are going well. They’re very chill guys. I already knew some of them, so that’s nice.

Welsford (27), a former member of the Australian track set-up, made his Grand Tour debut this year in what was just his second season at World Tour level. And while he did not figure at the pointy end in any of the sprints at the Tour de France, he believes finishing the race was a down payment on future success.

“I immediately noticed the benefits of this in the weeks after the Tour,” he said. “Something like this will also come in handy in the more difficult competitions.”

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