Australian sprinter Sam Welsford will be moving on from Team dsm-firmenich and continuing onto the next stage of his WorldTour career with Bora-Hansgrohe, signing a two-year deal with the team for 2024 and 2025.
Welsford, who made the shift from the track to the top-tier of road cycling in 2022 quickly made his mark as a sprinter on the rise, converting his well-practiced speed on the boards into top results on the road. He has scooped up four victories so far this season – the latest being on stage 4 of the Renewi Tour. The 27-year-old also delivered podiums at races such as Scheldeprijs and the UAE Tour plus made it through his Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France this year.
It wasn’t exactly a surprise that Bora-Hansgrohe might be on the hunt for a new sprinter, with fast man Sam Bennett again left out of the squad for the French Grand Tour and questions subsequently raised about his future with the team. The Irish rider has delivered 47 victories for the team over his near eight seasons, but since returning from a two year absence the 32-year-old has delivered three in each of the past two seasons.
Bora-Hansgrohe – which so far has 20 wins for the year compared with a total of 30 the last two – made clear in their statement announcing the signing of Welsford that what they were looking for as they opted for the rising Australian sprinter was an increase in the team’s number of visits to the top step of the podium.
“Sam is a pure sprinter and has one of the highest final speeds in the peloton,” said Bora-Hansgrohe head of sports Rolf Aldag. “He fits perfectly among the top sprinters in our team.”
“He showed his great potential at Scheldeprijs, the unofficial sprinters’ championship, and most recently in Belgium. And that’s exactly what we want to build on together. Because our goal is clear: with Sam, the number of our wins per season should increase.”
Welsford will join 2022 Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley on the squad, making it two Australian riders with very different characteristics that will oft be leading the team’s pursuit of top results.
“I’m super excited to join Bora-Hansgrohe and to work with their amazing staff and riders,” said Welsford. “I want to make the next step in my sprint career.
“I’m keen to develop and to get the jersey on the top step of the podium. The team has a huge history with really good sprinters and their development. So, for me to join such a team is really nice.”