Team Garmin-Sharp have agreed to free stage racer and trackie/cronoman Rohan Dennis immediately to allow the Australian to join Team BMC, where he will ride the Vuelta a Espana. Cyclingnews broke this story earlier in the day, which led to press releases by both teams clarifying this unusual development. The following is from the BMC press release, which contains quotes from Garmin. I told you this was unusual. Here is what Jonathan Vaughters had to say about why they allowed Dennis to go:
We understood his desire to work again with his former director Allan Peiper, when he was given the opportunity to do so in 2015. Rather than prolong the inevitable, we came up with a rare transfer solution that works best for Rohan and both teams. We view this move as not only a good step for the athlete and teams, but as major progress in the way the sport of cycling handles rider transfers.
I'm a little perplexed as to why this is good for Garmin-Sharp, apart from any potential roster crunch or budget crunch they may be facing for 2015. Maybe BMC threw some cash their way? No idea. I've never heard of teams doing that.
Dennis confirmed the significance of working with countryman Peiper, the former rider and veteran sport director who left Garmin for BMC in 2012.
My first experience with professional teams was with him at the Tour Down Under when I went to Garmin-Sharp. I think he is one of the best guys to look after me and I am looking forward to working with him as part of another great team.
BMC's Jim Ochowicz offered the following about what he expects of Dennis:
This vastly improves our ability to be competitive in races that have prologues and time trials. Rohan will also play a leadership role in some one-day races and one-week stage races that fit his profile. We expect him to a big asset in grand tours and one-day races, too, where he will have a working role.
Seems reasonable enough for now. In fact, the entire thing stinks of reasonableness. Is this still cycling?