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Chris Harper signs two-year contract with BikeExchange-Jayco

Australian climber arrives just days after Eddie Dunbar is confirmed.

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Chris Harper, 27, has signed a two-year contract with Team BikeExchange-Jayco, closing out his three-year stint at Jumbo-Visma.

The Australian is the second major transfer to arrive at Team BikeExchange-Jayco this week after it was confirmed that Eddie Dunbar had moved from Ineos Grenadiers to Gerry Ryan’s team on a three-year deal.

Harper adds valuable experience to the stage racing core of the team and will look to build on his grand tour palmares, which so far only includes one Giro d’Italia. The versatile rider was fourth in last year’s UAE Tour and is currently racing the Vuelta a Burgos this week.

“I’m very excited to join Team BikeExchange-Jayco for the coming two seasons. Being an Australian, I’ve always admired the team and had a lot of respect for the staff and riders so it is exciting to be joining them,” Harper said in a statement released by his future team.

“I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career and finding some good goals over the coming season and I hope that I can contribute to a lot of success within the team.”

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As well as new signings, BikeExchange-Jayco has been busy re-signing its existing leaders. Simon Yates and Michael Matthews both signed new deals during July, while Dylan Groenewegen’s sprint train is also expected to be improved in the transfer market.

Harper has struggled with injuries and sickness in the last two seasons but there is no doubting his ability at the top level as a reliable climbing domestique.

“It is always good for us to bring Australian talent to the team, we have a few younger riders making the step up to the WorldTour by joining our team, and we hope we can develop them well in the next years, but with Chris, he is already a well-established rider with lots of experience, so it is very motivating for us to welcome him onto the team,” said general manager Brent Copeland.

“Chris already knows a lot of the riders and staff well, being a rider from Australia, and we have only heard great things about him and seen how he has played a valuable role as a domestique rider in the biggest stage races in the world. We can’t wait to get started and we are confident it is going to be a great addition having Chris on our team in the hilly races.”