Sam Bewley joins cycle team for Tour of Spain
Kiwi cyclist Sam Bewley will ride for Orica-GreenEdge at the Vuelta a Espana starting Saturday.
He joins fellow Kiwis Jesse Sergent (US Trek Factory), Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) and George Bennett (Cannondale) in the 21-stage Tour of Spain.
Bewley would be playing an important role in guiding his team's main sprinter Michael Matthews towards stage wins during the grand tour.
He would share the role as lead out man with Mitch Docker and Brett Lancaster, while also helping propel Colombian Esteban Chaves up the general classification leaderboard.
Orica-GreenEdge were usually a team that aimed for stage wins and little more, but in a first Chaves would be expected to have a tilt at the Tour of Spain title.
"There have been times when we have just targeted stages with one or a couple of riders, but this year the whole team is basically all opportunists,'' team sport director Neil Stephens said.
"I think that anyone who looks at our line-up for the Tour of Spain will see that there are some great standout stage winners there and we will be trying to give some attention to the general classification with Esteban Chaves too.
''We are not going to be a team with eight guys dedicated to one certain sprinter, but we have a little pocket of guys including Mitch Docker, Brett Lancaster and Sam Bewley, that will be looking after Michael on certain days.''
Bewley's first season with Orica-GreenEdge was disrupted by injury.
He had hip surgery last year, and on his return to cycling Bewley broke his hand and elbow in January.
The injury problems have been put aside now, and the 27-year-old would compete in his second grand tour in Spain, after also contesting the Vuelta a Espana last year.