Orica-GreenEdge have announced its final 25-rider team for the 2016 season which includes the addition of seven new riders for its fifth season in the professional peloton. The team have also extended with 10 of its current riders and seen eight riders depart from its 2015 roster.
"We are really proud of our 2016 roster and with our WorldTour licence confirmed for our fifth year at the highest level, all is set for a fantastic season," team owner Gerry Ryan said in a statement. "The line-up is our most exciting to date and it shows a team that really has it all - from the most significant talent in the sport to seasoned winners."
The team enjoyed 28 victories across the season, the first time Orica-GreenEdge has failed to win more than 30 races as the team shifts its focus to general classification in the grand tours. The team wins includes stages at Paris-Nice, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, the Giro d'Italia, Tour de Romandie, and the one-day Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian by Adam Yates.
Colombian Esteban Chaves enjoyed a breakthrough season as he won two stages and finished fifth overall at the Vuelta a Espana, going onto the win the Abu Dhabi Tour last month. Along with the Yates twins, Adam and Simon, the trio are regarded as the GC future on the team with new additions Jack Haig and Rob Power longer term projects as they made their professional debuts in 2016.
With a shift in the team's focus to GC, sport director Matt White explained it was therefore no surprise to see a flurry of changes to the roster.
"We had a lot of contracts up at the conclusion of this year and as a result we have probably seen the most roster movement in the team’s history," White said. "But after all is said and done, we are extremely pleased with the team we have put together and are excited for what the collective unit can produce next year.
"One of the main reasons for the number of changes for next year is an expansion in the team’s objectives after some breakthrough performances in 2015. With riders like Chaves and the Yates boys really putting themselves on the world stage, it was time we supported them with further assistance in the mountains."
White added he is looking forward to working with the young talent on the roster and them progress in the coming seasons.
"At the heart, we are an Australian team. It’s important for us to foster the country’s best young cycling talent and we believe we have that in these three guys," White said. "Rob and Jack are the only Australians in history to podium at the Tour de l’Avenir and Alex [Edmondson] has really stepped up a notch this year too, his victory at the under-23 Tour of Flanders was a particular standout and another first for an Australian rider. We are looking forward to seeing them grow and develop in our ranks for years to come."
Former individual pursuit world champions Alexander Edmondson and Michael Hepburn are both focusing on the team pursuit at the Rio Olympic and will have reduced road seasons as a result while the remainder of the team will be 100% engaged with road commitments.
The first race on Orica-GreenEdge's 2016 racing calendar is the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic from January 1-4 in Australia.
Orica-GreenEdge 2016 team roster: Michael Albasini, Sam Bewley, Esteban Chaves, Magnus Cort, Mitch Docker, Luke Durbridge, Alexander Edmondson, Caleb Ewan, Simon Gerrans, Jack Haig, Mathew Hayman, Michael Hepburn, Damien Howson, Daryl Impey, Chris Juul-Jensen, Jens Keukeleire, Michael Matthews, Christian Meier, Luka Mezgec, Ruben Plaza, Robert Power, Svein Tuft, Amets Txurruka, Adam Yates and Simon Yates.
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