Twenty-one-year-old mountain biker-turned-road cyclist Jack Haig will ride for Orica-GreenEdge in 2015, Haig’s current team Avanti Racing has announced.

Haig has spent the past two seasons riding with Avanti (which was known as Huon-Genesys in 2013) and has split his time between Australia and Europe this season.

Early this season Haig attracted international attention when he was crowned the Best Young Rider at both the Santos Tour Down Under and the Herald Sun Tour (where he was third overall).

After a strong start to the year he headed to Europe to race with the Jayco-AIS WorldTour Academy Team. He achieved a number of top-10 performances with the team while riding in support of Robert Power. Haig continued his supporting role at both the Tour de L’Avenir (where Power was second overall) and in the U23 World Championships Road Race where teammate Caleb Ewan also finished second.

“There was a lot of interest in Jack” said Avanti Racing team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston in a press release. “I think it’s a great move for him and for GreenEdge. Shane Bannan has an eye for talent and has made a wise investment.”

Haig is the seventh rider from the Avanti/Huon-Genesys/Praties set-up that has gone on to ride at the WorldTour level, the others being: Will Clarke, Richie Porte, Nathan Haas, Steele von Hoff, Nathan Earle and Campbell Flakemore.

“To have another rider make the step up to WT is great for us, for Avanti and the rest of our sponsors”, Christie-Johnston said. “It makes all the hard work and long hours we put in worth it.”

Haig’s long-time coach and Avanti High Performance Director Mark Fenner was full of praise for Haig.

“Jack is the ultimate professional; he’s meticulous in every aspect of his cycling regime”, Fenner said. “I’ve looked after him from his days on the Torq MTB Team all the way through the Avanti program so I’m stoked that he’ll get the chance to fulfill his potential as a professional cyclist.”

Haig’s move to Orica-GreenEdge had been known in cycling circles for many months but wasn’t announced until today. Strangely, it was Haig’s current team, Avanti, that broke the news, rather than Orica-GreenEdge.