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Simon Gerrans leaves Team Sky for new Aussie outfit GreenEdge

Tour of Denmark winner in at start of project as he was with Sky and Cervelo TestTeam

Team Sky’s Simon Gerrans has been confirmed as the latest recruit to the new Australian team, GreenEdge, which is hoping to secure ProTeam status for the 2012 season.

The 31-year-old, who earlier this month won the overall in the Tour of Denmark, said: “I’ve had a really good two years at Sky and it’s been a privilege to ride with a team that has set the benchmark on professionalism.”

“I’m looking forward to riding the rest of this season with Sky and have appreciated the team’s understanding in why I made the decision to join a new Australian team.”
GreenEdge will be the third start-up team that the Melbourne-born athlete will have joined – prior to Team Sky, he was at Cervelo TestTeam – and says that the personnel involved in the new project helped sway his decision.

“This might be a new team on paper but it has been 20 years in the making by people like [general manager] Shayne Bannan and I know the amount of preparation he does to get things right,” Gerrans said of the team that is making a bid to become the first Australian team in cycling’s top division, the UCI World Tour.

“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 said that Gerrans, who is the only Australian to have won stages in all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, would bring determination and the ability to read races to the 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.”

As well as looking to add to his record of stage wins in the Grand Tours and other stage races, Gerrans will also be targeting the Ardennes Classics with his new team next season.

“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.”

“To win Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone or Liege-Bastonge-Liege 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,” he added.

GreenEdge has already confirmed a number of signings including Stuart O’Grady from Leopard Trek, and yesterday revealed that it had recruited the 26-year-old Dutch rider Sebastian Langeveld from Rabobank.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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James Warrener | 12 years ago

An Aussie wanting to and joining and Aussie team... no surprises there for me.

step-hent | 12 years ago
obutterwick wrote:

Why would anyone leave Sky? I certainly wouldn't.

Well, for Gerrans, it's a move to a 'home' team - he's clearly impressed with the Aussie management and wants to work with people who have supported him for a long time. But for the most part, people move teams either for more money, or a better 'place' in the new team (i.e. they think they'll get more opportunities to be the supported rider, or to get in to breaks, or to support a team win - more opportunities to achieve personal goals). That is, assuming that they have been offered a new contract with their existing team and turned it down...

obutterwick | 12 years ago

Why would anyone leave Sky? I certainly wouldn't.

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