Orica GreenEdge continues gradual evolution to Grand Tour GC team by signing Italian champ Ivan Santaromita
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Monday, August 12, 2013

Orica GreenEdge continues gradual evolution to Grand Tour GC team by signing Italian champ Ivan Santaromita

by VeloNation Press at 11:09 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
“It will be a great way to show my national champion’s jersey”

Ivan SantaromitaAfter three years with the BMC Racing Team, Italian road race champion Ivan Santaromita is on the move and will compete with the Orica GreenEdge team in 2014.

The 29 year old’s signing is part of the team’s push to broaden its range and to start building towards what ultimately will be a team capable of chasing Grand Tour success.

Santaromita, who finished thirtieth in this year’s Giro d’Italia, took a stage in the Giro del Trentino and also won the 2010 Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali, fits into that diversification of abilities.

“There’s one area we are starting to bolster and that’s in our climbing,” directeur sportif Matt White explained. “Ivan certainly does bolster that. We’ll target a lot of the Italian races with Santaromita.”

He will be the first rider from that country to sign for the team, which has had a concentration on Australian riders until now.

“I’m really pleased to get this opportunity with Orica GreenEdge,” Santaromita explained. “I know a lot of people there already and the team has a great reputation in the peloton. I’m proud to be the first Italian that the team signs up. Plus, it will be a great way to show my national champion’s jersey.”

The Australian team had a breakthrough this year as part of its second season in the peloton, winning a sprint stage plus the team time trial at the Tour de France. Its riders Simon Gerrans and Daryl Impey also wore the yellow jersey, and that experience has increased the push to develop into a team that will regularly target more than flat stage wins.

Santaromitia is an aggressive uphill climber and will almost certainly have greater freedom in the jersey of Orica GreenEdge.

“I feel like this team will give me the space to grow as a rider,” he stated. “I look forward to helping my new teammates to even more success. When given the opportunity, I would obviously also like to repay their faith in me with some results along the way.

“I think my strengths are mainly in the stage races and hopefully I can be an asset to the team there.”

White believes that he will be important for the evolution of the team. “He’s a great addition. Ivan has had a very consistent year with two big wins - one at Trentino and then the biggest win of his career in the Italian National Road Championships,” he said. “The Italian jersey is a big jersey to bring to GreenEDGE. It’s a very revered jersey in Europe.”

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