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GreenEDGE undergo major cycling changes

  • GreenEDGE undergo major cycling changes

Australia's WorldTour cycling team Orica-GreenEDGE will go into next season with much broader objectives after wholesale roster changes.

They have had easily the most turnover of riders in their four-year history with seven arrivals and eight departures, plus 10 contract extensions.

Australians Simon Clarke, Leigh Howard, Brett Lancaster and Cam Meyer, who all have been with GreenEDGE since the start, are among those to leave.

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The arrivals include Australian young guns Alex Edmondson, Robert Power and Jack Haig.

GreenEDGE also have beefed up their climbing stocks noticeably as they try to transition into a team that can have overall contenders in cycling's three Grand Tours - the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

Colombian Estaban Chavez scored a breakthrough fifth place this year at the Vuelta, the first time a GreenEDGE rider has finished so high in one of the three-week Tours.

GreenEDGE are also developing talented British twins Adam and Simon Yates.

"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," said team director Matt White.

"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."

Finishing on the podium of a Grand Tour is the next big goal for GreenEDGE, who consistently have racked up big wins since their 2012 debut.

The ultimate aim is to win the Tour de France.

So far most of the major GreenEDGE successes have come in one-day classics and the flatter stages of the Tour de France, the Giro and the Vuelta.

GreenEDGE hope new Spanish signings Ruben Plaza and Amets Txurruka will play major roles in the mountains, whilst Dane Chris Juul-Jensen had a domestique role at Tinkoff-Saxo as Alberto Contador won this year's Giro.

Slovenian Luka Mezgec also joins the team to help sprinters Caleb Ewan and Magnus Cort.

Edmondson Haig and Power were signed last summer.

Power and Haig are the only Australians to have finished on the podium at the Tour de l'Avenir, which is a prestigious stage race for developing riders.

Edmondson won this year's under-23 Tour of Flanders.

"At the heart, we are an Australian team," White said in a statement.

"It's important for us to foster the country's best young cycling talent and we believe we have that in these three guys."

Edmondson and teammate Michael Hepburn will balance road and track commitments over the next nine months as they try to make the Australian team pursuit squad for the Rio Olympics.

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