Sam Bennett has returned to the Bora-hansgrohe for the 2022 season, going back to the team he previously spent six years with.
The Carrick-on-Suir man has signed a two-year contract having worked with Deceuninck–Quick-Step since December 2019. He's set to be joined by fellow Irishman Ryan Mullen, who moves from Trek-Segafredo, as well as Danny van Poppel and Shane Archbold.
Bennett won the green jersey at the 2020 Tour de France, but a knee injury kept him out of this year's event.
"I am very excited about returning to Bora-hansgrohe," Bennett said in a statement released by the team.
"I had six incredible years with this team and I really feel like I grew up as a pro rider during this period. It was a really difficult decision to leave, but I decided I needed to continue my professional and personal development in a new environment.
"While some may have questioned my decision at the time, I believe it is the right move for me to return to Bora-hansgrohe. I have enjoyed two great years at Deceuninck-Quick-Step, my boyhood dream team, and have continued my development both on and off the bike whilst making lifelong friendships.
"However, I feel ready to go back home to be the team leader that I want to be, and know Bora-hansgrohe also wants me to be. I know the team will have a slightly different roster than when I left, but the core group of people who are responsible for the team's successful environment remains.
"I am ready to embrace the role of a team leader, to help drive the team forward so we can win together."
The 30-year-old added: "Currently I am still dealing with the knee injury which forced me to miss the Tour de France, but I am confident I will overcome this small setback and get back to where I want to be soon - winning races.
"Injuries are part of life, I’ve had them before and have overcome them, this is just another hurdle to conquer on life's journey."
Team manager Ralph Denk said he was looking forward to working with Bennett again. He acknowledged that his departure in 2019 "hurt us a lot at the time".
"You can have disagreements sometimes," he continued. "However, as long as you treat each other with respect, you will always find each other again. That was also the case here."