By Gregor Brown
South Africa's MTN-Qhubeka team announced today that it signed 2011 Milan-San Remo winner Matt Goss for the 2015 season. The Australian joins the second division team from Orica-GreenEdge.
"Matthew Goss is a great addition to our strong focus on the spring classics and Grand Tours next year," said team principal, Doug Ryder, "he has worked for some of the best sprinters in the world and has won many significant races too."
The 27-year-old raced for CSC/Saxo Bank, HTC-Highroad and since 2012, Orica-GreenEdge working for riders like Mark Cavendish and Simon Gerrans. He won Milan-San Remo, but also two stages in the Giro d'Italia, the GP Plouay and Paris-Bruxelles.
He has taken few victories in the last three years, his last coming at the Tirreno-Adriatico stage to Arezzo in March 2013. Orica is giving more weight to upcoming riders – like Michael Matthews and twins Adam and Simon Yates – and failed to give indication this summer that it would re-sign Goss. This year, it did not race him in a Grand Tour, focusing instead on Matthews who won a stage in the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.
Goss has found a new home with Africa's first professional cycling team, which debuted in a grand tour at the Vuelta a España in August. Along with Goss, the team has strengthened its roster with experienced professionals Tyler Farrar, Theo Bos and Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Ryder said that he hopes that the new signings will bring in wins and help his African group of riders. This year, the team's current 26-man roster features 19 Africans from all over the continent, including Eritrea, Algeria and Rwanda.
"I think that the foundations and ideas that the team is built on are really inspiring and motivating," Goss said. "The team being built for 2015 is going to be a fantastic team with great depth, strength and motivation. I come with a lot of experience racing at highest level over the past eight years and I'm excited to share my knowledge with the new generation of up and coming African riders. I look forward to working with the many other strong riders already part of Team MTN-Qhubeka and the riders joining for 2015."
MTN has also reportedly signed British cyclist Steve Cummings from team BMC Racing, but has not announced any such deal yet.
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