Durbridge extends contract with Orica GreenEdge
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Monday, October 08, 2012

Durbridge extends contract with Orica GreenEdge

by VeloNation Press at 6:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Strong first year sees Australian remain on board until the end of 2014

Luke DurbridgeHaving exceeded expectations in his debut pro season despite being one of the youngest riders in the bunch, Australian time trial champion Luke Durbridge has extended his contract with the Orica GreenEdge team.

The 21 year old clocked up six UCI victories this year, in addition to that national title: he won the time trial stage plus the overall in both the Circuit de la Sarthe and the Tour du Poitou-Charantes, the prologue in the Critérium de Dauphiné and the Duo Normand two-up time trial with Svein Tuft.

That run of success copperfastened Orica GreenEdge’s interest in him and it has extended his current two year deal by a further year, keeping him on board until the end of 2014.

“I’ve really enjoyed the environment on the team and I appreciate the genuine interest in my development,” said Durbridge in response. “GreenEDGE offered the extension, and it made a lot of sense to sign. I get security and the ability to concentrate on more good years with the team.”

He’s very pleased with how year one worked out for him. “Winning the Dauphiné prologue was a personal highlight for me,” said Durbridge. “I was pretty happy with that win because of the calibre of riders that were there. Winning the national title at the beginning of the year was also very special. I took a lot of pride in wearing the green and the gold all year during my first professional season.”

In addition to his personal successes, he also helped the squad win the team time trial at the Eneco Tour and take bronze in the TTT event at the world championships.

His run of results convinces directeur sportif Matt White that the team has a big talent on its hands. “Luke has had an incredible first year as a pro with six individual victories and one team time trial win scattered through his season,” he said. “We are looking forward to continuing to help Luke develop through these early years as a pro and seeing him grow into a world class time trialist and future star of the sport.”

He also hints that the current deal could be further extended. “With ORICA-GreenEDGE, Luke has a home for many years to come.”

The 2011 under 23 world time trial champion said that he got a good programme from the team, with the management putting him in the right races to ensure that he rode well and didn’t get too overwhelmed in year one.

“I expect more of the same,” he said, talking about his likely schedule for the coming season. “I want to continue to wean myself into the bigger races and have a go at the smaller races. The small races are the perfect place for me to learn how to win, and eventually, I can build the confidence and skills to go for a win in harder races, too,” he reasoned.

“I’ll continue to specialize in the one week stage races without too many hills that include a time trial and maybe a prologue.”

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