More milestones for ORICA-GreenEDGE as third season draws to a closeTue 14 Oct 2014
Yesterday’s Tour of Beijing finale brought to a close a successful 2014 season for ORICA-GreenEDGE.
At the conclusion of our third season as the first Australian professional team to race at the top of world cycling, ORICA-GreenEDGE finished with 35 wins, including the team’s historic 100th victory, and ranked a best ever fifth in the world.
Amongst the successes were four grand tour stage wins, 15 WorldTour victories, four leader’s jerseys, one monument and six Australian home wins.
General manager Shayne Bannan said the outfit continued to punch above its weight on the world stage.
“We’re proud to have again been able to deliver an impressive number of victories right across the 2014 season and we’ve been able to compete with the best out there and that’s what we set out to do from day one. Being able to continue that development into our third year is fantastic to see,” Bannan said.
“It’s also pleasing to see the spread of the victories. Twelve different riders contributed to our 34 individual wins and a further three were involved in the team time trial win at the Giro d’Italia. It’s a real tribute to the depth of our team.”
Amidst the 35 victories this season was the team’s 100th. Simon Gerrans recorded the milestone at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec, the 34-year-old also posting the teams first ever victory at the Australian championships back in 2012.
“Celebrating a century of victories was a real highlight of this season for us,” Bannan said. “To be able to do so in just our third year is an incredible achievement.”
“Each and every rider across the years has contributed to this milestone but it does seem fitting that Simon Gerrans, who constantly delivers for us on the toughest stage, notched up number 100 to accompany the very first that he won for us also.”
Riders will now take a well-earned short break before preparing for an even bigger 2015 beginning with a jammed packed summer of cycling in Australia.
“It’s been a long year, but there isn’t much time to reminisce,” Bannan said. “We continue to be 100% committed to performing at home in Australia throughout January and early February – it is the least we can do for our local fans who, often with little sleep, support us all year long. The support we have at home means a lot to us.”
Some (of the many) highlights of ORICA-GreenEDGE’s 2014 season:
Full set of UCI-recognised Australian victories (January)
Australian championships (Road Race – Simon Gerrans, Time Trial – Michael Hepburn), Tour Down Under (Simon Gerrans) and Jayco Herald Sun Tour (Simon Clarke).
Monumental Victory (April)
Simon Gerrans won his second monumental classic, Liegè-Bastogne-Liège to accompany his victory in Milano-Sanremo in 2012. Considered one of the hardest races on the calendar by many Gerrans added another epic win to his impressive career after a fantastic team effort.
Pretty in Pink (May)
Not shying away from the pressure, ORICA-GreenEDGE publically identified the Giro d’Italia opening team time trial as a huge goal for 2014. Victory saw the maglia rosa fittingly on the shoulders of 37-year-old Canadian stalwart Svein Tuft. Handing it over to Michael Matthews on stage two, the young Australian retained the jersey until stage eight, including for a stage victory on stage six. Peter Weening continued the team’s phenomenal Giro by winning stage nine to Sestola.
First grand tour general classification consideration (August)
Colombian Esteban Chaves became the first general classification rider for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the beginning of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana. Exceeding expectations in the first week, a lack of racing saw the 24-year-old worn down in the latter half of the three-week Tour but not before showing plenty of promise for the future after a season where he took two impressive victories and confirming his come-back to the highest level.
A complete set of grand tour leader’s jerseys (August)
A stage three victory at the Vuelta a Espana for Michael Matthews also delivered the red leader’s jersey in the final grand tour of the year. Significantly, it completed the full set for ORICA-GreenEDGE who also claimed the Tour de France yellow jersey in 2013 (Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey) and Giro d’Italia pink jersey earlier in 2014 (Svein Tuft and Michael Matthews).
100 team victories (September)
Our 100th victory was recorded on the 12th of September, Simon Gerrans victorious at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec after recovering from a mechanical in the final 20km. Twenty riders recorded individual wins within the milestone.
Four world championship podiums (September)
ORICA-GreenEDGE and ORICA-AIS equaled their best team time trial performances at the world championships, claiming the silver double. On an individual note, Simon Gerrans (Australia, silver) and Emma Johansson (Sweden, bronze) also stood upon the podium.
Strong WorldTour rankings (October)
A strong finish to the season in China saw ORICA-GreenEDGE climb to fifth in the WorldTour rankings, the highest the team has placed in it’s three years at the top level. Individually, Simon Gerrans finished the season as the team’s highest WorldTour ranked rider in history, finishing third behind Alejandro Valverde (MOV) and Alberto Contador (TSC).