Bannan says riders are part of his long-term vision for the team
GreenEdge has announced the signings of their first Australian riders on their roster, with Jack Bobridge along with Cameron and Travis Meyer joining the Shane Bannan project from Garmin-Cervelo.
The three have each signed two-year deals, and it follows the announcement earlier today that multiple African champion Daniel Teklehaymanot has signed with GreenEdge.
In a statement, GreenEdge general manager Bannan said that all three riders are part of his long-term vision for the team which it is hoped will become the first Australian squad to secure a ProTour licence later this year.
"During my time at the Australian Institute of Sport I worked with many of the young Australians now making an impact on cycling's world stage so I'm pleased to be able to continue that with three of our most talented young riders," he said.
"Cameron and Jack are going to play a big role in Australia's success on the track at the Olympics and have already proven their quality on the road. Not many guys can finish the final time trial of a three week tour in the top-10 at such a young age like Cameron has for the past two editions of the Giro d'Italia. Plus Jack was the U23 time trial world champion in 2009.
"And Travis was making big gains over the past 12-months before injury got the better of him. We know his recovery is in good hands and a minor step-back doesn't change how talented he is. Travis won five junior world titles on the track and as soon as he stepped up to the elite ranks he won the Australian road title at his first attempt.
"As an Australian team aiming to be around for a long time it was important for us to make these three guys founding members of the team because they're going to be around at the top level for a long time."
Reigning Tour Down Under champion Cameron Meyer and Bobridge both said that having the support for their continuing ambitions on the track was a factor in their move from the team they have called home for the past three seasons.
"I've really enjoyed my time at Garmin-Cervelo but joining GreenEdge gives me the best support possible to chase my dreams and of becoming one of the leading road riders in the world along with the possibility of riding at the Olympic Games in 2012," Meyer explained.
"One of the best things about riding the track is that you get to be part of an Australian team regularly at world cups and the world championships. Joining GreenEdge will let me ride as part of an Australian team all year round, whether I'm on the track or the road," Bobridge said. "But more importantly the team is right behind my Olympic ambitions on the track.
"At the Beijing Olympics I rode the team pursuit and we finished fourth, just outside the medals, which was pretty hard to take. GreenEdge will give me the support I need to go to London in the best condition I can be to see if I can be part of the team pursuit squad that brings home gold."
Travis Meyer's season recently came to an end following the Bayern-Rundfahrt in late May having undergone surgery on his left external iliac artery.
"I have been out of action and my season is basically over, so it is great that Shayne and GreenEdge have shown faith in me by offering a place on their roster for 2012," said the younger Meyer. "It's been a little frustrating sitting on the sidelines for a good portion of the year but that only adds to my motivation. One of the challenges is going to be not to rush things."
When GreenEdge was launched at the Tour Down Under last January, Bannan said that he was aiming for a roster made up of 75 per cent Australian riders, claiming "I don't really think it's healthy to state that we want to be 100 percent Australian - I think that may cause a little bit of complacency."