Kiwi veteran Julian Dean is the latest rider to be confirmed for the upstart GreenEdge next season.
Dean will be sorely missed by Garmin-Cervelo’s Tyler Farrar next season. Dean became a confidante and preferred set-up man for Farrar and was one of the key riders in helping Farrar’s development as one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton.
Dean ends his four-year run with Garmin, which he joined as the squad’s top sprinter before slotting into the role as lead-out man with Farrar’s emergence as a top sprinter.
Dean will likely take a similar role at GreenEdge, a roster already loaded with fast sprinters.
“It is a hugely exciting development for cycling, especially in Australia and New Zealand,” Dean said in a GreenEdge team release. “With the quality of the team named I’m confident we’ll get World Tour status straight away. This is a really big deal and we’ve not seen anything of this magnitude in any sport in Australasia before. It is huge.”
Dean, 36, joins a wave of riders filing out of Garmin-Cervélo to join the Australian-backed team for 2012. Others leaving include Matt Wilson, Brett Lancaster, Cameron and Travis Meyer and Jack Bobridge.
Garmin-Cervélo was anticipating Dean’s departure and has been looking to bolster its lead-out train for Farrar.
The team has signed South African sprinter Robbie Hunter, who can play a similar role to Dean, as well as Basque fast-man Koldo Fernandez. Both riders can help Farrar as well as have their own chances in smaller races.
With Dean, GreenEdge has confirmed 24 riders to its roster for its debut season in 2012.