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The Swiss rider’s contract was due to expire at the end of 2021, but Team DSM (ex Team Sunweb) announced today they had terminated Hirschi’s contract with immediate effect.

“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. Marc Hirschi experienced in 2020 a breakthrough season with some amazing highlights. Hirschi and the team brought home some great wins; a stage in the Tour de France and Fleche Wallonne, an exciting 2nd place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a podium finish at the Road World Championships (3rd) where a further display of the great season which youngster Hirschi experienced in 2020. Team DSM wishes Marc Hirschi all the best for his career and expresses gratitude for what Marc Hirschi has contributed to the team.

Hirschi turned professional with Sunweb (now DSM) in 2019, having won the world and European under-23 road race titles the previous year. He was one of the great protagonists of the past season, he won La Flèche Wallonne along with a stage of the Tour de France in 2020, as well as the Tour’s most combative rider award and finishing third at the World Championships and second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Hirschi has previously spoken of his ambition in achieving Olympic success, telling Sporza last month that he “wants to go for the games”, adding that the road race could be his “biggest” objective for 2021 due to the route perfectly suited for its characteristics.

His sudden departure will lead to a lot of speculation about his next team, although there are likely to be plenty of offers from other teams. The 22-year-old Swiss, represented by Fabian Cancellara, is one of the most highly-rated young riders on the international panorama.

The mystery may be soon solved, with Wielerflits.nl reporting the Swiss rider will join Tour winner Tadej Pogačar at UAE Team Emirates and quibicisport.it suggesting the possibility of a move to AG2R Citroen, the French team that in 2021 will race on the Swiss BMC bikes of which Cancellara is testimonial.