ORICA-GreenEDGE has further boosted its talented young roster, today confirming the signing of 19-year-old Robert Power from 2016. The West Australian will join Victorian Jack Haig and the recently confirmed South Australian Alexander Edmondson as neo-pros next season.
Power, who will make his WorldTour debut alongside Haig and Edmondson with the Uni-SA National Team at this week’s Santos Tour Down Under, raced his first full season in Europe in 2014 and tasted instant success. Two impressive hilltop victories in Italy, at the GP Capodarco and GP Poggiana under 23 races, immediately put the young climber on the radar of a number of big names teams, but Power is confident ORICA-GreenEDGE is the best place to take his career to the next level. “Above all, I’m really excited to join a team with a great atmosphere and where I’ll be training and racing with a great group of guys,” Power said. “I think the team will help me become a better rider and I’m convinced that it will be the best place for me to learn what it takes to be a professional. “It’s already been very overwhelming, in a good way, to be part of the team camps and now riding next to some of the best riders in the world at the Tour Down Under. “I’m still only 19 years old and I’m very ambitious about this season on the development team. I want to go back to Europe and do better than last year and I think it will help me knowing that I have the next part my future in place.” Alongside his victories, Power also finished second overall at the 2014 Tour de l’Avenir ? the birthplace of many of the world’s best future climbers ? creating history as the first ever Australian to podium at the French race. The result positions the teenager amongst some exciting names, including ORICA-GreenEDGE teammate Adam Yates (2014), 2013 world champion Rui Costa (2008) and three-time world time trial champion Tony Martin (2007) who have all reached the podium at the coveted race. “Rob is one of the most exciting climbing talents we’ve seen in Australia cycling for a very, very long time,” ORICA-GreenEDGE sport director Matt White said of the team’s most recent signing. “His results last year were incredibly impressive. He won some really high quality races in Italy and his second place at the Tour de l’Avenir was a clear indication of the immense talent that he’s got.” Despite the excitement of a rider like Power, White reiterated the importance of not rushing progression and instead focusing on the development of potential. “We are seeing quite a few guys coming out of a different type of talent pool than the tracks these years and Rob is one of the best examples of that type of rider. I think he’s got huge potential,” White said. “The future is generally looking really bright for Australian cycling and the amount of talent is significant and there are a lot of riders for the WorldTour teams to pick from. “The important thing for us as a team is to let them grow and develop progressively in a good environment without any added pressure. Most of these guys are still very young and we need to make sure they make the transition to the pro ranks in the best possible way.”