By Nigel Wynn
Orica, an Australian explosives and chemical company supplying the global mining industry, has signed a three-year deal to sponsor the GreenEdge cycling team.
The Australian-based WorldTour outfit will henceforth be known as Orica-GreenEdge. The exact financial numbers involved in the deal have not been revealed.
"We're extremely proud to be teaming up with Orica in our debut season and onwards," said GreenEdge founder Gerry Ryan. "It's the perfect partner for us and we couldn't have found a more ambitious and forward-thinking company to get onboard.
"We have had a dream start to our sporting goals, winning big races and putting GreenEdge on the map in professional cycling. This relationship with Orica, and our existing partners, will continue to make GreenEdge grow - for the athletes, for our fantastic fans and for cycling in general. It's a significant milestone for us."
Orica has also signed up to co-sponsor GreenEdge's women's team.
Ian Smith, managing director and CEO of Orica said: "This is a rare and fantastic opportunity to secure the founding co-naming sponsorship with this ground-breaking sporting venture.
"GreenEdge is the first Australian team at this level and it offers Orica a powerful sports marketing platform, perfectly aligned with our values and drivers."
The team will makes its Grand Tour debut on Saturday, taking to the start line of the Giro d'Italia in Herning, Denmark.
The squad will be in the hunt for stage wins, with Matt Goss aiming for bunch finishes and the whole team gunning for the team time trial on Wednesday. Fumiyuki Beppu, Jack Bobridge, Daryl Impey, Jens Keukeleire, Brett Lancaster, Christian Meier, Svein Tuft and Tomas Vaitkus make up the remainder of the nine-man Giro roster.
GreenEdge kicked off its debut season in fine style, with Simon Gerrans winning the Tour Down Under in January before winning Milan-San Remo in March. Michael Albasini dominated the Volta a Catalunya the same month, taking two stages and the overall. The team underlined its prowess against the clock by convincingly winning the opening Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial, also in March.
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