The Orica-Scott team has improved every year since its creation in 2012 and will enter an exciting new phase in 2017 as it focuses on Grand Tour success as well as its usual goals in the Classics, sprints and shorter stage races. The success of Esteban Chaves at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, Adam Yates’ breakthrough performance at the Tour de France and Simon Yates’ superb performance at the Vuelta a España, have set Orica-Scott’s course for the future. The Australian team is now a true Grand Tour contender, ready to challenge established squads such as Team Sky, Movistar and Trek-Segafredo.
Bike sponsor Scott has stepped up to also become a co-title sponsor in 2017 and takes pride of place on the new-look blue and yellow racing kit.
Chaves was one of just three riders to finish on the podium in two Grand Tours in 2016, joining Froome and Quintana in the select club of true Grand Tour contenders. He took the pink leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia but then gracefully accepted defeat on the final mountain stage after Vincenzo Nibali opened a decisive margin on the climb to Sant-Anna di Vinadio.
His victory at Il Lombardia – the first ever by a non-European rider - showed his class for the toughest Classics and confirmed his huge potential for 2017 and beyond. The ever-smiling Colombian is a fan favourite and seems to appreciate every moment of racing, knowing that a crash at the 2013 Trofeo Laigueglia almost ended his professional career.
Adam and Simon Yates were determined to race together as professionals and the British twins often join forces at Orica to help each other win major races. Still only 24, both surely have a huge margin for improvement, and great things are expected from both brothers in 2017.
Professional cycling can be a cruel sport but eventually rewards its most resilient athletes. Matthew Hayman has been racing for 17 seasons, mostly as a domestique, but enjoyed his day of glory in 2016 when he beat Tom Boonen to win Paris-Roubaix on the cobbles of Northern France. He is emblematic of Orica-Scott’s ethos.
While Orica-Scott focus on the Grand Tours, it will be up to Caleb Ewan to keep the victories coming in the sprints, while Simon Gerrans will lead in the hilly Classics. At 22, Ewan is one of the youngest sprinters in the UCI WorldTour peloton but is also one of the fastest and most certainly the most aerodynamic as he powers to the finish line. Gerrans, 36, is a veteran but a class act.
Experienced team manager Shayne Bannan and team owner Gerry Ryan have always invested wisely while retaining their Australian heritage, and the team is now one of the most admired in the UCI WorldTour.
“We are thrilled to have Scott step up into a major, co-naming rights sponsor for our team,” Bannan said. “Their progression as a sponsor follows ours as a team and together we believe the partnership will achieve great things in the coming years.”