Orica GreenEDGE has signed Mathew Hayman from Team Sky on a two-year contract.
The 35-year-old rider had spent the last four years with the British team having spent his earlier career at Rabobank.
“I have had a great four years at Sky,” said Hayman. “It was a wonderful experience, and I learned heaps.”
However the lure of riding for Australia’s first WorldTour teams appears to have been too much for the former Commonwealth road race champion.
“I watched the team from the start,” he said. “There was talk about it for five years leading up to getting a license and sponsors. I followed along the whole way. Watching it evolve and feeling the excitement in Australia to finally get a team it can support was great.”
Hayman has forged a role for himself as a solid domestique, often sacrificing his own ambitions for others. Orica GreenEDGE will hope that aspect, coupled with this vast experience will make him an integral part of the team, which lost Stuart O’Grady to retirement just after this year’s Tour de France.
“Mat Hayman is a very important inclusion into our roster for 2014,” said Sport Director Matt White in a press release. “To have him on board and hopefully finish off his career with us is great news.”
“With Mat, we get a lot of experience in a lot of different races and a great leader for our younger riders,” noted White. “He's crucial to a lot of things we want to achieve.”
Hayman became one of Sky’s most important and successful Spring Classics riders, although he initially joined the team in order to help Juan Antonia Flecha. The Australian will be again target the Classics next season but also has one eye on the Tour de France; a race he has never participated in.
“My major focus will be to get the most out of the Classics in the next two years. I’d like to bring all my years of experience together and hope that I’m at the pointy end for all of them.”
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