Talented Australian jumps ship with immediate effect as Jonathan Vaughters heralds a new transfer solution

Rohan Dennis, thanks to a rare mid-season transfer from team Garmin-Sharp, joined BMC Racing today.

“Rather than prolong the inevitable, we came up with a rare transfer solution that works best for Rohan and both teams,” said team Garmin’s general manger, Jonathan Vaughters. “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. We wish Rohan luck in his new team.”

The 24-year-old from Adelaide, Australia, joined the American team when Allan Peiper was still part of its staff. The Australian former pro, who also worked for team HTC-Highroad, took the performance director role at BMC in October 2012.

“My first experience with professional teams was with him at the Tour Down Under when I went to Garmin-Sharp,” said Dennis. “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.”

Dennis’ contract with American team, BMC Racing begins today, August 4. Transfers usually take place at the end of the year, officially beginning on January 1. Instead, after Denis took the silver medal in the Commonwealth Games time trial behind England’s Alex Dowsett, he traded his Garmin for BMC kit. The rare mid-season transfer was made possible thanks to his agent, Andrew McQuaid, both teams, the Professional Cycling Council and of course, cycling’s governing body, the UCI.

“This vastly improves our ability to be competitive in races that have prologues and time trials,” General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. “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.”

Dennis accumulated a string of podium spots in his palmarès in his first two seasons. This year, place second overall in the Tour of California and Circuit Cycliste Sarthe stage races. He placed second in the Critérium International time trial, second in the Tour de Romandie prologue and third in the Tour de Suisse time trail. Last year, he won the Tour of Alberta overall, placed second behind Tony Martin in the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial and raced the first part of the Tour de France.

The move could also help Vaughters make space for Cannondale’s riders. Cannondale is expected to leave behind its team and licence and join Vaughters’ team as a sponsor. Some like Peter Sagan are leaving, but eight cyclists have contracts beyond 2014: Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani, Davide Villella, Davide Formolo, Alberto Bettiol, Alan Marangoni, Kristjan Koren and Under 23 World Champion Matej Mohoric.