• Luka Mezgec will add some muscle to the Orica-GreenEDGE sprint train (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Australian outfit ORICA-GreenEDGE have confirmed the 25-rider roster it will take to its fifth WorldTour season.
Cycling Central

11 Nov 2015 - 8:48 AM 

The 2016 team is made up of eight holdovers, ten contract extensions and seven new signings as it shifted its focus to the high mountains and overall classifications.

“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,” sport director Matt 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.”

With the contracts of Esteban Chaves (COL) and Adam and Simon Yates (GBR) secured for additional years, the team added young Australian talent in climbers Robert Power (20) and Jack Haig (22) and future classics powerhouse Alexander Edmondson (21).

“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 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.”

Orica-GreenEDGE’s also added some more experience to ride alongside existing veterans like Mat Hayman, Svein Tuft and Michael Albasini. Spanish pair Ruben Plaza (35) and Amets Txurruka (32) will play major roles in the mountains.

The team also added Dane Chris Juul-Jensen (26), Slovenian Luka Mezgec to for support in classics and sprints.

“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,” White said.

“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.

“Likewise, Luka will add another string to our sprint train and all together we have a group of athletes that really can tackle any terrain across all race formats – one-day races, week-long Tours and Grand Tours. Bring on 2016.”