Hayman moves from Sky to Orica GreenEdge, Bewley and Hepburn extend
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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hayman moves from Sky to Orica GreenEdge, Bewley and Hepburn extend

by VeloNation Press at 5:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Veteran Classic rider keen to seize personal chances and also to act as a mentor to younger riders

Mathew HaymanThe Orica GreenEdge team has unveiled three signings for 2014, with the Classic specialist Mathew Hayman moving to the squad from Team Sky and Sam Bewley plus Michael Hepburn extending their current contracts and thus remaining part of the setup.

Hayman has spent four years with Team Sky but said that he now welcomes the chance to be part of an Australian setup.

“I watched the team from the start,” the 35 year old explained. “There was talk about it for five years leading up to getting a license and sponsors. I followed along the whole way. Watching it evolve and feeling the excitement in Australia to finally get a team it can support was great.”

While he has often given his energy as a domestique for the British team, he has also had the opportunity to notch up some important results too. In the past three seasons those achievements include first in Paris-Bourges, third in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, third and fourth in the Dwars door Vlaanderen, sixth overall in the Circuit Franco Belge.

In addition to that, he’s also shown his potential by placing eighth and tenth in arguably the biggest Classic of all, Paris-Roubaix.

His hope now is that with more of a leadership role, he will be able to step up a notch again.

“I really enjoy the Classics – they are where I get my best results,” the Australian said. “My major focus will be to get the most out of the Classics in the next two years. I’d like to bring all my years of experience together and hope that I’m at the pointy end for all of them.”

He is also hoping to ride the Tour de France with the squad. “It will be a lot of hard work to make the team, but I am motivated to make it happen,” he explained.

Directeur sportif Matt White believes he will be a big addition. “Mat Hayman is a very important inclusion into our roster for 2014,” he said. “To have him on board and hopefully finish off his career with us is great news.

“With Mat, we get a lot of experience in a lot of different races and a great leader for our younger riders. He's crucial to a lot of things we want to achieve.”

The 2006 Commonwealth Games champion knows that he should have more openings for personal success, and is keen to seize the opportunity. However he doesn’t rue riding for others in recent seasons. “I have had a great four years at Sky,” he said. “It was a wonderful experience, and I learned heaps.”

Two others extend with team:

Meanwhile Bewley and Hepburn have both signed up for more time as part of the WorldTour setup.

Bewley is a 26 year old rider who took bronze in the 2008 Olympic games as part of the New Zealand team pursuit squad. He repeated that result in the London Olympics, and has an important turn of speed which should also serve him well on the road.

“I’ve enjoyed the last two years with this team,” he said, speaking about his extension. “They support every single rider, whatever their goals are. Being on a team from the Southern Hemisphere makes it that much more special.”

Part of his satisfaction in staying involved is because he believes he was treated well after crashing and fracturing his collarbone in this year’s Circuit Sarthe.

“I came off the track only last year and haven’t done a lot with the team this year due to my injury,” he said. “The team still showed faith in me and supported me. They believe that I can continue to improve.

“I missed out on a lot of races this year because of my injury,” he continued. “But I have done a few big races and races that I needed to do to continue to improve. I’m starting to learn more and more about the lead-out. That’s something I’m pretty interested in and think I could be pretty good at.

“I’m always happy to help my teammates. I always give 100% when that’s asked of me. Maybe next year I’ll have some results of my own in specific races, but mostly, I just want to continue to improve in every aspect of my cycling.”

Before then, he will make his Grand Tour debut later this week in the Vuelta a España. He’s excited about riding that race, but also about the form boost that it should give him for the world team time trial championships in September.

“Being on the team for the TTT has been a huge goal of mine,” said Bewley, who also rode that event last year. “Specifically, doing well is a big goal for ORICA-GreenEDGE. It’s a good course for us this year, and we have a lot of riders who are suited for it. For me, I want to help the team better our third place from last year.”

White believes he has made good progress and is pleased that he will remain part of the team.

“We've been really happy with Sam's development this season despite an injury that derailed some of his plans for his spring campaign,” he said. “I see a big future for Sam with this team. He's about to start the biggest race of his career this week when he lines up for the Tour of Spain.”

While Bewley’s extension is for one year, Hepburn has committed to another two seasons. The 22 year old Australian turn pro with the squad in 2012 and has settled in well.

“I’ve really enjoyed the last two years with the team,” he said. “I really like the feel of the team – it’s got a great vibe. My first year as a pro was the inaugural year of ORICA-GreenEDGE, and I am really happy to continue here.

“The timing of the team was perfect for me. I had been in Italy with the U23 program for two years when Shayne [Bannan] and Gerry [Ryan] started up the team. The older guys on the team say this is a dream they’ve been waiting for their whole careers – fifteen, twenty years. I’m really lucky to have come into the sport at this time and slotted right into an Australian pro team.”

The rider helped three other Australian team pursuit riders to take silver in London 2012. Earlier this year he was part of a gold medal winning quartet in the track worlds, and also took victory in the individual pursuit.

Now, with the Olympics further and further in the rear view mirror, he’s ready to focus more on road racing.

“Next year I might sit a year off the track,” he explained. “I’m not exactly sure where I want to go on the track in the next few years. I definitely want to focus on the road a bit more in the next couple of years to see where that takes me.

“I’m not sure what type of rider I will be,” he continued, talking about the discovery he has yet to do. “Personally, I want to improve in the time trial. I want to start contesting for wins there rather than running top five or ten. I’d also like to see myself get selected for the team time trial to represent ORICA-GreenEDGE at the World Championships. It’s big goal of mine and for the team, too.

“I’m keen on riding a variety of races and seeing where I can be used best by the team in the different styles of racing we do. I’m not set on any one particular path or outcome.”

White welcomes the new deal and said that he and the team expect “bigger and better” things from him next year.

He has a hunch about what direction his career could go. “I expect him to find a home in our Classics teams,” he explained. “He's a versatile rider. He can time trial and sprint and he's very comfortable in the bunch. I expect our Classics team will be a natural home for him.”


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