Eleven riders into their team list announcements for what is hoped will be their inaugural season, GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan says that he's very close to completing his roster of 28 riders.
"There're still more than a couple of contracts that are going backwards and forwards in relation to some details but we're probably getting to the stage where we're around 90 per cent," he explained. "We're just looking for the final couple of riders really."
While there have been murmurs of discontent, particularly in the Twittersphere regarding the outfit's drip-feed method of announcing their roster, Bannan is philosophical.
"Some people get a bit frustrated with that because there are a lot of rumours and stuff out there but you can't keep everybody happy can you," he told Cyclingnews on Wednesday.
According to Bannan several elements have made the rider marketplace "fairly chaotic" over the last few weeks – the demise of HTC-Highroad, how the current roster of Omega Pharma-Lotto would split given the two sponsors were going their separate ways, including the destination of Belgian Philippe Gilbert for 2012 and beyond.
Gilbert's 2011 winning form, plus his individual UCI rankings points were considered to be an attractive option for the fledging Australian team, in some circles at least – but Bannan told Cyclingnews that the Belgian superstar, who is close friends with a number of Aussies who like him call Monaco home, was not going to be the right fit.
"Gilbert is a fantastic rider and he's the rider of the moment but we just wanted to be very careful that we were building a team rather than just putting an individual in there who'd bring an enormous amount of points and possible success to the team," he explained.
Despite this, there were initial discussions between GreenEdge and Gilbert, however "it never got to a discussion about figures or numbers."
With Daniel Teklehaymanot, Travis Meyer, Cameron Meyer, Jack Bobridge (all Garmin-Cervelo), Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek), Pieter Weening (Rabobank), Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank), Simon Gerrans (Sky), Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil), Simon Clarke (Astana) and Svein Tuft (SpiderTech) now all confirmed Bannan says there's no point in looking at this group or any future signings for a headline act. Instead -
As a sports journalist and producer since 1997, Jane has covered Olympic and Commonwealth Games, rugby league, motorsport, cricket, surfing, triathlon, rugby union, and golf for print, radio, television and online. However her enduring passion has been cycling.
Jane is a former Australian Editor of Cyclingnews from 2011 to 2013 and continues to freelance within the cycling industry.
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