The West

Durbridge rewarded with two-year GreenEDGE deal
Durbridge rewarded with two-year GreenEDGE deal

World time trial champion Luke Durbridge says he will not feel added pressure to perform in GreenEDGE's debut year despite becoming the second-youngest rider to sign with Australia's fledgling pro tour team.

The 20-year-old from Bassendean was yesterday unveiled alongside Queenslander Michael Hepburn as the final two cyclists to complete the team's 30-man squad for 2012.

His signing of a two-year deal comes little more than a month after producing the ride of his young career to dominate the field in winning the under-23 time trial at the world road championships in Denmark.

The result combined with his age and a prominent stage victory recently in the Netherlands already has Durbridge billed as a potential star on the road.

However, the WA youngster said he would not set unrealistic expectations for next year, with adjusting to his first year as a professional rider already a major step.

"I think GreenEDGE have shown a bit of faith in me," Durbridge said.

"I definitely don't feel any pressure to go out next year and win a bunch of races. I just think if that happens, that's fantastic, but if it doesn't I think GreenEDGE are looking more to the long term."

Durbridge first spoke to GreenEDGE officials about joining the team as early as October last year. He is one of three WA riders in the squad, with brothers Cameron and Travis Meyer having signed in August.

The rising star said the team's support for his quest to make next year's Olympics had ultimately sealed his decision.

A place in Australia's four-man team pursuit line-up in London potentially alongside Hepburn is his No.1 priority for 2012, having won his first track world title in the event in March this year.

"I just wanted to make sure that everything was in place for London," Durbridge said.

Track commitments mean Durbridge will not officially start with his new team until February 1.

GreenEDGE general manager Shayne Bannan said they wanted to support both Durbridge and Hepburn with their ambitions on the track despite being a road team.

The West Australian

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