Australian Simon Gerrans has confirmed that he will be leaving Team Sky at the end of the 2011 season to join new Australian outfit GreenEdge in 2012.
“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,” said GreenEdge manager Shayne Bannan, who formerly ran the Australian Institute of Sport.
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“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 commented.
“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,” said Gerrans.
“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.”
2011 Tour of Denmark winner Gerrans will join several other notable Australian cyclists on the new squad, including confirmed signings Stuart O’Grady, Jack Bobridge, Cameron Meyer and Travis Meyer.
Gerrans also has stage wins in the Tour de France (2008), Giro d’Italia (2009) and Vuelta a Espana (2009) in his palmares.
Dutchmen Pieter Weening and Sebastian Langeveld, and Eritrean Daniel Teklehaymanot have also been confirmed for the team for 2012.
Earlier this week, GreenEdge filed the first set of documents with the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) in its bid to apply for a top-tier ProTeam licence.