Simon Gerrans — the only Australian to win stages in all three grand tours — is the latest addition to the GreenEDGE team for 2012.
Gerrans, who rode for Cervélo and Sky in their respective debut seasons, will help GreenEDGE get off the ground next season in what will be a very competitive team.
“This might be a new team on paper but it has been 20 years in the making by people like Shayne Bannan and I know the amount of preparation he does to get things right,” Gerrans said in a team release Thursday.
“In some ways joining GreenEDGE has a coming home feeling to it as many of the people involved, like Shayne and Gerry Ryan, have been a big part of my career for more than 10 years.”
Bannan, the GreenEDGE general manager, says the stage wins by the 31 year old in the Tours of France, Italy and Spain have come not just through his strength but his race smarts and determination, which makes him an important rider on any team.
“Simon is now in the prime of his career with a proven ability to win on the big stage, which made him a target for us right from the start,” Bannan said.
“The other big plus with Simon is the example he’ll set for the rest of the team, particularly the younger guys.
“As an under-23 rider it was touch-and-go as to whether he’d make it as a professional cyclist. But where others would have raised the white flag Simon found a way and has become one of the most complete riders in the peloton.”
Gerrans will remain a stage-hunter in the grand tour, but has set his sights on winning one of the Ardennes Classics.
“I’ve always targeted the Ardennes Classics and after finishing third at the Amstel Gold Race this year I’m looking forward to preparing specifically for these races again with the backing of GreenEDGE,” Gerrans said.
“To win Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone or Liège–Bastogne–Liège would be something special. I know everything would have to go absolutely right for me to be able to achieve that and I’m doing everything I can to give myself the best chance.”
Gerrans joins Sebastian Langeveld, Stuart O’Grady, Peter Weening, the Meyer brothers, Jack Bobridge and Daniel Teklehaimanot as confirmed arrivals for the start-up Aussie team.