The 32-year-old Txurruka has spent the past three seasons at Pro Continental level with Caja Rural-RGA Seguros, having left Euskaltel-Euskadi at the end of the 2012 campaign. A veteran of 14 Grand Tours, he will bring considerable experience to the Australian squad.
“It's a real dream come through for me to start this next chapter of my career,” Txurruka said. “I've had a great time at Caja-Rural-RGA and I have a lot to thank them for, but joining ORICA-GreenEdge is a once in a life time chance that couldn't be missed.”
Primarily a deluxe domestique during his time at Euskaltel-Euskadi, Txurruka enjoyed greater freedom at Caja Rural, winning the Vuelta a Asturias in 2013 and a stage of the Tour of Norway earlier this year.
At Orica-GreenEdge, the Basque will return to a predominantly supporting role, as the team looks to build a solid unit around the climbing talents of Adam and Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves.
“At Euskaltel, Amets was a right hand man to Samuel Sanchez,” Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif Neil Stephens said in a statement on Friday. “He has a heap of experience, he can climb well and he is a guy that is very realistic about his ability and he just wants to ride at the top level.
“He will be the final rider to support our young climbers in the hillier races. As well as the physical support, doing a turn or moving them up into position, he will also be there to pass on experience and tactics as well.”
Stephens added that one conversation during negotiations with Txurruka had been particularly instructive. “During this process, when I asked Amets about his favourite victory he actually told me about a race that he didn’t even win himself. His favourite victory was riding for a teammate to help him claim the win,” Stephens said. “That’s a pretty strong sign of the type of characters we want around this team.”
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