Ruben Plaza’s first Tour de France stage win came at the tender age of 35 this season, but some of the magic of his great ride was lost to the fact that Peter Sagan put on a descending masterclass on the Col de Manse.
Plaza adds another option to the Australian team, who have bolstered their climbing options over the past few seasons. With Esteban Chaves and the Yates twins beginning to compete for the overall titles in WorldTour races, Orica have backed them up with the signings of Plaza and fellow Spaniard Amets Txurruka.
“I’m at a point where I’m ready to give 100% to a team with some amazing young talent for the Grand Tours and I’m convinced we can take those guys very far.
“There is so much potential on this team and I’m ready to give it my very best. I can’t wait to start this new adventure with one the most international teams in the world.”
How much do the Yates twins know about each other?
Orica sport director Neil Stephens added: “The main thing we want out of Ruben is his experience, his capacity to guide our young guys, but also his ability to be there in the key moments.
“Similar to how Mat Hayman came into our team to help in the Classics, Ruben will help in the mountains. He is a guy that can be there in the last 20-odd riders.
“He was top ten on Alpe d’Huez this year, which is great, but what excites him more is to be around guys like the Yates boys or Chaves and to be able to guide them through the major races.”