Nieve, one of Spain's most talented climbers, will continue to bolster the growing, maturing general classification group that supports British brothers Simon and Adam Yates and Colombian Esteban Chaves.
The 33-year-old’s signing comes as the Australian WorldTour outfit continues to sharpen its GC focus following back-to-back white jerseys at the Tour de France and podium finishes at the 2016 Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana.
Nieve, who has supported Chris Froome in his last two Tour de France triumphs, identified the growing talent in ORICA-SCOTT’s squad and the potential that lies ahead.
“I especially know Esteban and the Yates brothers,” Nieve said. “Despite being very young, they have a great talent and have achieved important things.”
“I would like to help the team to get more important victories and be part of it. I would like to be in the big races, I would like to be important on mountain stages and being close to those three guys to give them a hand.
“From the outside I've always liked how ORICA-SCOTT work and the atmosphere that is seen between them. I think they have a nice way to live cycling and I want to be part of it.”
After adding Roman Kreuziger to the team last year, sport director Matt White said Nieve is another strong signing for one of the team’s new focuses.
“Signing Nieve is bolstering the armada we are building in backing up our young general classification riders,” White said.
“Last year we could add Roman Kreuziger and now Mikel comes with the same level of experience.
“They have both been part of teams that have won the biggest races in the world and he is certainly going to be of great value to our general classification trio.”
Nieve is a superb climber in his own right and has seven top 15 General Classification performances in Grand Tours to his name, with his best finish an 8th overall at the 2015 Vuelta a Espana. What probably prevents him frome being a leader more often is his lack of punch, when the other favourites go on the attack, Nieve is often dropped.
That is likely why he has turned into a 'super domestique' in the latter half of his career, a job he performed well with Sky and will fill now in his new squad for 2018.