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Orica-Scott lands key cycling recruits

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Australian WorldTour cycling team Orica-Scott have made two key additions to their support staff as they continue the transition to Grand Tour contenders.

The recruiting of veteran coach Dave Sanders and Cycling Australia's former high performance director Kevin Tabotta represent a significant expansion of the team's operations.

Tabotta will be their high performance director and Sanders will have a coach/mentor role.

This year, Orica-Scott's young talent blossomed, with Colombian Esteban Chaves finishing on the podium at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana.

British twins Simon and Adam Yates also had big Grand Tour results - Adam was fourth overall at the Tour de France and won the young rider category, while Simon was in the top 10 overall at the Vuelta.

Sprinter Caleb Ewan also continued his impressive development.

"It's fantastic having all this young talent, but you have to also develop as an organisation around that young talent," team general manager Shayne Bannan told AAP.

"Stepping up with athlete services for us is a pretty critical part of going forward.

"(It's) having the experience of guys such as Kevin and Dave come in and value-add to the current system, the riders and their environment, and also value-add to the sport directors."

Tabotta announced in September he was leaving Cycling Australia after leading the national team at three Olympics.

He said at the time he would probably stay involved with elite sport.

Bannan said, as Orica-Scott's general manager, he had been "half-doing" jobs such as high performance and sports science.

"How it helps me is I'm able to sit in the helicopter more and do my work with sponsors and just make sure of the sustainability of the team," he said of signing Sanders and Tabotta.

Sanders is one of Australian cycling's most-respected figures.

He has had some involvement with nearly every Australian in men's professional cycling.

"We all know Dave's history - his passion, his ability to nurture talent," Bannan said.

"One thing we recognised in our group ... was wanting to build up in the areas of servicing the athletes and their individual needs.

"One of Dave's roles in the last three years has really been exactly that - he's been coming over with Cycling Australia and assisting (riders).

"We believe he'll be a tremendous asset."

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