Mitchell Docker and Leigh Howard extend with Orica-GreenEdge for two more years
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Thursday, November 07, 2013

Mitchell Docker and Leigh Howard extend with Orica-GreenEdge for two more years

by Ben Atkins at 10:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Both Australians confirmed with squad through 2015

leigh howardMitchell Docker and Leigh Howard have both extended their contracts with Orica-GreenEdge for another two years, the team has announced. Both Australian riders have been part of the Australian ProTeam since its inception in 2012, having come from the different backgrounds of Skil-Shimano and HTC-Highroad respectively, and will both remain with the squad through 2015.

After a strong Classics season in his final year with Skil-Shimano - where he took sixth in Gent-Wevelgem and 15th in Paris-Roubaix - Docker’s time with Orica-GreenEdge began badly as a bad crash in the team’s January 2012 training camp saw him sidelined for four months.

“I was really happy with the support the team gave me when I was coming back from my injuries,” said Docker. “There was never any pressure to return quickly. I think I was able to repay them this year with some good riding in the support roles that I had.

“Looking ahead, I feel good about the way the team has said they want to continue to develop me,” he continued. “We’ve begun to talk more specifically about my programme, and I’m excited by everything they have in store for me.”

Sprinter Howard took one victory in 2012, his first season with the team, but began 2013 by winning two of the races of the Challenge Mallorca: the Trofeo Migjorn and Trofeo Platja de Muro. While he wasn’t able to raise his arms again during the season, he feels that he is making steady progress with the Australian squad.

“It has been a dream come true to race for an Aussie team,” said Howard. “Every year has been slightly better. I’ve gotten stronger and scored more results each year.”

“At Paris-Nice I got support from guys like Simon Clarke and Simon Gerrans,” recalled Howard. “They are awesome riders but not pure lead-out men. We managed to come in with the most perfect lead-out you could imagine in one of the early stages of the race. It shows what our team is capable of and what the riders will do for each other.”

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