Mathew Hayman has signed a two-year contract extension with Orica-GreenEdge that will see him continue his professional career for a 16th season in 2016. The 37-year-old joined the Australian team at the end of 2013 after four seasons with Team Sky and has become an important road captain since making the switch.
"I have been here two years now and it was a big move to come but I have really enjoyed my time so far," Hayman said in a release from the team. "I have been a part of some great wins and for me it wasn't a hard decision to return again.
"I don't think when I turned professional I thought there would ever be an Australian team, certainly not at this level. It's exciting, it's young and it's dynamic so hopefully I have something to add to that."
Hayman, who also spent ten season with Rabobank prior to joining Sky, made his long awaited Tour de France debut with Orica-GreenEdge in 2014 but was forced to withdraw on stage 10 due to illness. In 2015 Hayman rode the Vuelta a Espana with his experience helping Esteban Chaves to two stage wins and fifth place overall and explained the mentoring role he has taken up in recent seasons is a fulfilling one.
"I am still ambitious for my own results but I take a lot of satisfaction out of helping the young guys and I hope that they enjoy it and take it all onboard too," he said.
Hayman has never hidden his love for the Belgian classics with third at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Dwars Door Vlaanderen his best results so far in the spring races and is looking to add another top result to his palmares. The Australian also has two top-ten Paris-Roubaix results to his name.
"I still get excited about riding the Belgian Classics," he said. "If you don't have any personal ambition it's hard to do all the training. The Classics are tough and it's really tough to get onto the podium. In the next two years I hope I can have a stellar year and achieve that."
Orica-GreenEdge sport director Matt White explained that Hayman's experience is a valuable asset in the young team and sees the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist as paying a key role in the development of its young riders across the next two seasons.
"We have been in little bit of a transitional phases with a lot of the older guys coming to the end of their career but with the role that Mat plays, it's crucial that he is around the young guys to pass that knowledge and information on," White said, adding that he hopes to see Hayman at his best in the classics.
"The Flemish Classics are a personal passion of his and that's not going to stop. I think he has some un-ticked boxes up there, especially with something like Paris-Roubaix and again the knowledge his has is invaluable for that group around him there."
Orica-GreenEdge have also renewed with Adam Yates, Simon Yates, Damien Howson, Michael Hepburn, Svein Tuft, Esteban Chaves, Michael Albasini, Christian Meier and Sam Bewley while welcoming Alex Edmondson (Neo), Jack Haig (Neo), Robert Power (Neo), Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo), Luka Mezgec (Giant-Alpecin) and Ruben Plaza (Lampre-Merida) to the team in 2016.
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