Orica-GreenEdge confirmed the arrival Friday of Basque climber Amets Txurruka for 2016 to bolster its lineup in the mountains.
The 32-year-old Txurruka rode six seasons with Euskaltel-Euskadi and joined Caja Rural-Seguros RGA after the Basque WorldTour team dropped him in 2012.
Txurruka will be tapped to help rising GC prospects, including Simon and Adam Yates, and Esteban Chaves.
“It’s a real dream come true for me to start this next chapter of my career,” Txurruka said in a team release. “I would like to be able to help achieve those goals wherever the team can use me and see my work contribute to the team’s results.”
Txurruka’s arrival comes thanks to sport director Neil Stephens, who lives in Spain’s Basque Country, and keeps close ties to the region’s thriving cycling scene.
“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,” Stephens said. “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.”
Txurruka is the first major signing for Orica during the 2016 trading window. A few more riders are likely to join the Australian outfit, while riders such as Simon Clarke and Ivan Santaromita are expected to leave.