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Swiss rider Marc Hirschi is officially a free agent. For how long, though, is yet to be seen.
On Tuesday morning German WorldTour team DSM officially released Hirschi from his contract in a sudden and curious fashion.
“Team DSM has reached a settlement agreement with their rider Marc Hirschi to terminate their present employment before the original end date of 31 December 2021. It has been agreed that the agreement will be terminated with immediate effect and that no further comments will be made,” the team said in a statement. “Team DSM wishes Marc Hirschi all the best for the continuation of his career and expresses its gratitude for what Marc Hirschi has contributed to the team.”
The move is a possible sign that Hirschi is headed to a different team that has agreed to buy him out of his deal with Team DSM. No information about where Hirschi is headed, however, was available.
Hirschi, one of the breakout stars of 2020, was under agreement with Team DSM through the end of the 2021 season, however, the team made it be known that the Swiss was no longer with the team effective immediately.
The 22-year-old was the 2018 UCI world under-23 road champion. In 2019, he was second in the Swiss elite national time trial and fourth in the road race. And then in 2020, Hirschi burst onto the pro scene with a bevy of impressive performances.
At the 2020 Tour de France, Hirschi came oh-so-close to a stage 9 win when he was caught within a few hundred meters of the line after an 80-kilometer solo attempt. Learning from this loss, he took the lesson in stride and put it to good use when he came back just several days later to take the stage 12 win on a solo raid. And this was just the start of the late-season success by the Swiss.
The youngster proved his prowess at the Tour was no mistake; he scored a bronze medal at the 2020 UCI world road championships in Imola, Italy, behind Julian Alaphilippe and Wout van Aert just a handful of days after the Tour’s conclusion.
Hirschi kept things rolling into a delayed classics campaign with a win the Flèche Wallonne from a late attack on the Muir de Huy. But Hirschi wasn’t yet done with a wacky 2020 cycling season.
The Team Subweb rider’s momentum carried into September as Hirschi came across the line in third at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He was elevated to second place behind Primož Roglič, when Julian Alaphilippe was relegated for dangerous sprinting.