Australian Mathew Hayman has penned a two-year contract with Orica-GreenEdge after four seasons at team Sky.
The Classics specialist and valuable domestique is set to bolster his ‘home’ team’s spring line-up but also has ambitions to start the Tour de France.
Hayman turned professional with Rabobank in 2000 but has never competed at cycling’s biggest Grand Tour, and it’s created a sore spot.
The 35-year-old was a captain in Sky’s reinvigorated Classics campaign this season and recorded the team’s best result with a third place at Dwars door Vlaanderen.
“I really enjoy the Classics – they are where I get my best results,” said Hayman. “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.”
Orica-GreenEdge celebrated stints in the yellow jersey at the Tour this year with stage winner Simon Gerrans as well as Daryl Impey. It’s set to place a bigger focus on mountain stages next season.
“It will be a lot of hard work to make the team, but I am motivated to make it happen,” said Hayman.
Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White described the 2006 Commonwealth Games road race champion as a important inclusion to his team’s roster.
“With Mat, we get a lot of experience in a lot of different races and a great leader for our younger riders,” White said. “He’s crucial to a lot of things we want to achieve.”