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Kelland O’Brien signs with Team BikeExchange in two-year deal

2021 UCI Track World Championship Day 5 - Roubaix France - Men's Madison - 2410/2021 - Kelland Obrien (AUS) - Lucas Plapp (AUS) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021
Kelland O'Brien and Luke Plapp, another Australian rider shifting onto the road this year, at the 2021 UCI Track World Championship (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Team BikeExchange has signed 23-year-old Kelland O’Brien for the next two seasons, with the Australian having joined the team as a stagiaire in the final phases of 2021 after delivering a bronze medal in the Team Pursuit at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

The rider was one of the standout performers during the 2021 Australian summer of racing, delivering second place in the road race at Australia’s National Championships as well as third in the time trial.

“Of course, for us at GreenEDGE Cycling, it is always important to find young talent in Australia and we are confident that with Kelland we have found it,” general manager Brent Copeland said in a statement.

“He is young and he will need all the support he can get which we are confident in giving him, as this team has so much experience in this area. He will also be able to learn a lot from our current Australian riders who have made the same transition from track to road. Our Australian legacy is very important for us, and we believe Kelland has everything it takes to bring forward what our Team Owner, Gerry Ryan, has developed in the past decade.”

O’Brien has joined Australian track teammate Luke Plapp, who has signed with Ineos Grenadiers, in making the transition to the road despite what has been a challenging period for the nation’s cyclists. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled international and large swathes of domestic competition in Australia and severely limited opportunities to travel overseas due to the closed international borders and quarantine restrictions, which will soon be lifting. O’Brien, however, made the most of the opportunities he had to make a mark.

“It has been an incredible year so far for me. I had good results during national road race championships, the Olympic medal in Tokyo with the Australian national team, and now becoming a pro cyclist on a WorldTour team,” said O’Brien.”I have been looking up to GreenEDGE Cycling in the last few years as an Australian rider, they are the team to be in and I am extremely excited to be joining them.

“I am glad that this opportunity has been given to me and it’s now my turn to take the most out of it and keep improving as a cyclist.”