Fresh from his win on the 13th stage of the Vuelta a España last week, Michael Albasini has been announced as the latest signing for GreenEdge which is bidding for a UCI ProTour licence.
The 30-year-old joins the Australian project from HTC-Highroad which is folding at the end of the current season, and is the first of several riders from Bob Stapleton's outfit expected to join GreenEdge.
Albasini said via a GreenEdge press release that it was the first time that he had been approached by a team.
"When you're in the peloton you always hear rumours and I heard so many good things about GreenEdge, which got me interested. But they called me.
"This means GreenEdge values me as a rider and has confidence in me. This is important because I am a rider who needs the confidence of the team," he continued.
"But that's not the only reason I'm joining the team. Once I looked at the people involved and the infrastructure already in place it was an easy decision."
Albasini's win, after dominating the sprint of an escape in Ponferrada on Friday, was his third for the season having won a stage of the Bayern Rundfahrt, and the GP Kanton Argau. The Swiss rider also won the mountains classification at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. The previous two seasons have been highlighted by overall classification victories at the Tour of Britain (2010) and the Tour of Austria (2009).
He says that he hopes to carry his current form into his first season with his new team.
"It was near the end of the second week of a big tour and that was my third day in a row of trying to get in a breakaway and going full gas so it gives me the confidence that I can do it again," Albasini said.
"Before the stage we were talking about just surviving the stage so to win such a difficult day like that it's even more significant. It was no gift; I had to work very hard for it."
GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan said that Albasini will be an important asset for the team.
"Michael is good at just about everything," Bannan said. "As he has just shown at the Tour of Spain he's pretty hard to beat in a sprint from a breakaway group.
"He won the mountainous Tour of Austria in 2009 and has two stage victories at the Tour de Suisse to his name, so there's plenty of evidence that he's a solid climber. And he's always near the top half of the results sheet in a time trial.
"Plus he's always been one of the key workers for his previous teams."
Albasini has ridden for Highroad since 2009, and was previously with Liquigas (2005-2008), Phonak (2003-2004), and Fassa Bortolo (2001-2002).
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