In Magnus Cort and Caleb Ewan, Orica-GreenEdge have two of the most promising young sprinters in the peloton. Managing the race schedules of the two fast men will be a future challenge but getting first across the line is almost a foregone conclusion and that's precisely what the team plan on doing as soon as possible.
"The goal with him and Caleb, is to keep them winning, they are winners, and develop them at the same time," Orica-GreenEdge Matt White told Cyclingnews. "We have to be realistic with them, but I think they are capable of winning in the WorldTour."
Cort, who is 21 years old, won 11 races in 2014, two of them professional, usurpingly attracting attention from WorldTour teams. Despite courting offers from several teams, Cort decided on Orica-GreenEdge, signing a three-year deal with the Australian team.
"I am really happy, it's a good team, a nice team and the atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming," Cort told Cyclingnews.
Cort won two stages and the overall at the Istrian Spring Trophy and Ronde de l'Oise and won the one-day races Himmerland Rundt, Destination Thy and Ringerike GP but when asked the highlight of his season, he replied;
"For me, the biggest win was the Tour of Denmark and getting the yellow jersey exactly as I did last year. That race is my Tour de France.
"When I won at Tour of Fjords, which was my first professional win this year, it was really big to show that I could get another professional win a year after."
Having enjoyed success in 2013, a stellar 2014 season wasn't a complete surprise to Cort, signalling his continued development as a rider and confirming he was doing the right things at the right time.
"I don't think I expect 11 UCI wins, but of course I had two pro wins the year before so in some ways, I tried to do the same, but I was not expecting to get two pro wins again, but I was trying to get UCI wins.
"I had a really good team around me supporting me and as a fast rider, it's a little bit easier to get the wins with that help as we did lots of races that suited me really well."
Cort expects he'll remain a similar rider at the WorldTour level, adding there are ways to win he's yet to try.
"I am not a big bunch sprinter but I think I'll still be pretty fast. I think I'll still spring in small groups, which is how I've got wins this year. I've never tried to go solo to the finish line," he said.
White echoed Cort's self-evaluation, adding that he sees him as "similar to Michael Matthews. He's definitely not a pure sprinter.
With Ewan on the team, a rider that Cort remembers "beating him big time this year", the Danish rider has no problem riding in a support role when called upon but is hoping to be riding for his own wins.
"I am sure that I will get my chances on this team and we will see," he said. "Of course you have to grab the chances that you are given or else someone else will and that's also 100 per cent OK if I am not performing. You shouldn't work for me if I can't win. I hope to get a win next year.
Yet to finalise his racing calendar for the 2015 season, Cort explained he would prefer to start with smaller races but most importantly, he wants to win. He is setting himself the target of three victories, one more than this year.
"It would be good to do some of the smaller races and get some results," he said. "I think it's important to keep being at the pointy end of the race and contest the win and that's what I am good at. Of course it's a higher level and I won't win 11 races next year but in time, I hope to be one of the best riders in the peloton. But I guess everybody says that when they turn pro."
It's clear that Cort rides his bike to win and winning the biggest prize of them all is the ultimate goal. "A Tour de France stage would be good, it would be huge, but the biggest dream that I have is to be world champion. Not next year, but one day."
Although Cort wasn't privy to his early-season schedule when he spoke to Cyclingnews, White was, explaining that he'll start his season on the "last day of February in France, then off to Tirreno-Adriatico, and then Belgium."
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