Orica-GreenEdge will race through to the end of 2016 thanks to team owner, Gerry Ryan’s commitment for three more years.
“Well, we are in the midst of signing riders for two and three-year contracts. So what does that say?” he told newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald. “Commitment. My commitment.”
The newspaper broke the news this morning after speaking with Ryan, who is in Italy following part of the Giro d’Italia.
Ryan’s initial funding ran through 2013, covering 2011 when he put the pieces of team in place with General Manager Shayne Bannan and these last two seasons.
Ahead of the Tour de France last year, chemical and mining company Orica joined the team as title sponsor. It has enjoyed a series of wins, including Milan-San Remo with Simon Gerrans last year.
Ryan said that he is building the team for the future. At the end of this year, 10 riders are out of contract and leave space for the team’s brass to shop.
Australia’s top stage racers, Cadel Evans and Richie Porte are spoken for. Evans is committed to BMC Racing and Porte, yesterday morning, renewed with Sky.
“We would have liked Richie to come onboard,” Ryan explained. “We need to find a couple of climbers. [As for] general classification riders, hopefully we already have a couple that are developing into GC riders.”
Ryan also said that he is meeting with Bannan ahead of a crucial team review. They are waiting on an independent inquiry into the team’s management and anti-doping policies. It is due Friday and may shape the team’s future.
Sports director, Matt White was named in the USADA Lance Armstrong investigation and served a backdated suspension. The report could force restructuring and decide White’s future in the team.
Ryan is confident, however, putting in more of his money to ensure the future of Australia’s first top-level team.