Michael Matthews confirms two year contract with Orica GreenEdge
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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Michael Matthews confirms two year contract with Orica GreenEdge

by Shane Stokes at 5:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Former world under 23 champion to leave Rabobank for Australian squad

Michael MatthewsSeven months after the Orica GreenEdge team confirmed an interest in signing Australian sprinter Michael Matthews, the UCI ProTeam has announced that it has agreed a two year deal.

The 2010 world under 23 champion will move to the team after two seasons with the Rabobank squad and, given his success thus far plus the fact that he is still only 21, he has the potential to become one of its biggest riders.

“Michael is an exciting young Australian with a big future ahead of him,” said directeur sportif Matt White. "He's already shown great results, but he is still developing as an athlete and I'm very pleased he will be able to do that with us.”

Matthews quickly got his pro career off to a good start when in his first WorldTour race, he won stage three of the Santos Tour Down Under. He finished fourth overall in the race and in the same 2011 season, he won the Rund um Koln plus stages in the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic and the Vuelta a Murcia.

This year he took the Clásica de Almería plus a stage and the green jersey in the recent Tour of Utah.

“I chose Orica-GreenEDGE for several reasons,” he said, talking about the contract. “Most importantly, it will be an amazing experience to be a part of an Australian team. I really look forward to racing with and learning from some of the best Australian riders in the world.

“I have a long history with a lot of the staff. I also rode with a lot of my future teammates on the U-23 Jayco Skins team, so it will be great to work with them again. I'm here to learn from my teammates, and hopefully I'll get some opportunities of my own when I'm ready.”

Matthews will be guided by more experienced riders such as Simon Gerrans and Matt Goss, as well as the recently-retired Robbie McEwen, who is the team’s sprint coach.

Whit believes that the combination of this advice plus his own talent could result in a lot of success. “He's a very powerful rider and his skills give him the ability to win in quite varied terrain, as he has shown already,” he said “I think that he will benefit from the experienced riders we have to help him make the next steps in his career.”

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