ORICA-BikeExchange squad ready for 2017 assaultWed 16 Nov 2016
ORICA-BikeExchange has confirmed the final 26-man squad for 2017, looking to build on the team’s most successful year to date when they line up for their sixth season.
Eight Australian members, including Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman and four-time Tour Down Under winner Simon Gerrans, will gather in Nagambie this weekend for the Winery Ride and start of the Australian camp. The majority of the remaining riders will meet on the 28th of November for a camp in Europe.
The 2017 squad features just two changes, introducing experienced climber Roman Kreuziger to support the team’s young general classification leaders and Roger Kluge to strengthen the lead out train for sprinter Caleb Ewan.
Sport director Matt White said the roster stability can be a huge advantage if handled correctly.
“With only two and a half changes (including Carlos Verona who joined mid-2016) to our roster next year the DNA and group is very similar to the roster that achieved so much in 2016,” White said.
“This is an exciting prospect but something we need to approach with caution to ensure that we don't let any complacency slip into our processes.
“Our additions each possess specialties in certain areas that we need to bolster our existing team, enabling us to immediately improve our performance and growing ambitions."
The new signings join a very successful 2016 list, who are still yet to reach their full potential.
“We had breakout years from Magnus Cort, Jens Keukeleire, Esteban Chaves and Simon and Adam Yates,” White identified. “We can expect even more progression from this crew of developing riders.”
“And as always, our older experienced campaigners never cease to surprise us along the journey of the season which turns out to be a very long and grueling campaign.
“We can be very excited about approaching the coming season.”
White said the overall season goal is a simple yet difficult task, but that ORICA-BikeExchange will also make some new targets for 2017.
“We want consistency and that is needed from everyone,” White said. “The idea may sound simple but in such a dynamic world which makes up our sport it’s a challenge to achieve.”
“We will approach all three Grand Tour’s with general classification ambitions which is a first for the organisation.
“We are looking at starting off our season with a bang come January at our home WorldTour events and then aiming to take winning opportunities regularly throughout the season whilst developing the immense talent we have within our roster.”
Michael Albasini (SUI, 35)
Sam Bewley (NZL, 29)
Esteban Chaves (COL, 26)
Magnus Cort (DEN, 23)
Mitch Docker (AUS, 30)
Luke Durbridge (AUS, 25)
Alexander Edmondson (AUS, 22)
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 22)
Simon Gerrans (AUS, 36)
Jack Haig (AUS, 23)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 38)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 25)
Damien Howson (AUS, 24)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 31)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 27)
Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 27)
Cheung King-Lok (HKG, 25)
Roger Kluge (GER, 30) - new signing
Roman Kreuziger (CZE, 30) - new signing
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 28)
Ruben Plaza (SPA, 36)
Robert Power (AUS, 21)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 39)
Carlos Verona (SPA, 24)
Adam Yates (GBR, 24)
Simon Yates (GBR, 24)