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Bannan wants to "value-add" to Australian cycling
GreenEdge is putting its roots into the depths of Australian cycling, and this week will announce its development policy outlining pathways for the next generation of the nation's cyclists to join the UCI's WorldTour should the project be successful in gaining a ProTour licence in November.
Under the plans, the UCI Continental-registered Jayco-AIS team will be the direct feeder team to GreenEdge, much like the Trek-Livestrong arrangement with RadioShack although the project's General Manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews that the deal won't be exclusive.
"We would certainly like to have an affiliation with a lot of NRS [National Road Series] and Continental teams which are developing in Australia," he explained. "The way we can value-add to those teams is a plan that we're developing at the moment."
Cycling in Australia is currently riding a wave of enthusiasm, especially following Cadel Evans' win at the Tour de France with the GreenEdge project also generating a lot of interest in the eight months since it was launched in Adelaide. Because of this, Bannan says that any links need to be fostered with the best interests of everyone concerned with his number one goal being to "value add to the Australian cycling system".
"We want it to actually mean something to the riders – those are the details that we're going through at the moment," he said.
Last week, Australian National Road Series outfit Plan B Racing trumpeted the announcement that it had "officially recognized as a feeder team to the GreenEdge Pro team."
Plan B's team manager, Wayne Evans – who also represents the interests of GreenEdge recruits Cameron and Travis Meyer, said: "By having this formal agreement with GreenEdge it allows the young guys to get the bit between the teeth and go for it with some confidence that they will have one of the leading teams in the world looking at them closely. If they work hard and they are good enough, then GreenEdge may be their chance to enter the top level of cycling."
Bannan said that the links with Plan B was not something that had been discussed between he and Evans during negotiations for athlete recruitment.
"It was always our intention to have an affiliation with the NRS teams or Continental teams that are interested," he confirmed. "Plan B is a very enthusiastic group and they were the first guys to put their hand up."
GreenEdge's principal funding comes from Gerry Ryan, head of the Jayco caravan empire. Jayco has long been a supporter of cycling in Australia with the company investing in both events and teams. Despite this, Bannan admitted that "no particular preference" would be given to teams which bore the Jayco name.