Svein Tuft will return to Orica-Scott in 2018. The 10-time Canadian national time trial champion is currently the oldest active rider in the UCI WorldTour after Haimar Zubeldia retired following the Clásica Ciclista San Sebastian in late July.
“Orica-Scott has been my home for the last six years,” Tuft explained. “I’ve seen the team grow and adapt into the grand tour general classification contending team that it is now.”
“As the team has been changing, I’ve also been adapting and growing and I still have things to learn. I enjoy this process and it keeps you young as a rider.”
Tuft is a loyal teammate and as his team evolved into one with GC ambitions he played an important role supporting his teammates. If you tune in early during important Grand Tour stages he can often be seen setting tempo at the front of the peloton. The teams GC capabilities grow each season. As the oldest member of the team and returning for his seventh season with the the WorldTour Australian outfit, Tuft continues to feel he has a lot to learn in the sport.
“As the team has been changing, I’ve also been adapting and growing, and I still have things to learn,” Tuft said in a team statement. “I enjoy this process and it keeps you young as a rider.”
In 2017m Tuft helped Adam Yates achieve a ninth place finish at the Giro d’Italia. In 2016 at the Giro d’Italia, Tuft rode in the service of talented Colombian Estaban Chaves who finished second overall. Last year he also helped Simon Yates to sixth at the Vuelta a Espana.
Tufts notable achievements include the 10 Canadian national time trial titles he has earned including this years title. He has twice been Canadian road champion. Tuft wore the pink leaders jersey at the 2014 Giro d’Italia and was the latern rouge at the 2014 Tour de France finishing last overall.
Over his career, Tuft has raced 11 Grand Tours accumulating a wealth of valuable experience to his younger teammates. In 2018, the team expects Tuft to continue helping the up and coming young riders achieve results to their potential.
“The choice was easy after riding the Giro d’Italia this season, being part of that great group of people leaves me wanting more,” Tuft explained about his decision to return for one more year.
“Helping the young guys excel and learn gives me a great satisfaction. Helping these guys at the big tours will be my motivation next year and as always, trying to win the world championship team time trial,” Tuft said about his ambitions. “Orica-Scott is my second family and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Orica-Scott sports director Matt White was complimentary of Tuft who has proven to be a committed, versatile rider who is a solid role model for the teams younger riders.
“Svein is loving what he is doing and as long as he is loving what he is doing and performing the way he is, he certainly has a home here,” said White. “Age is no barrier with Svein. We’ve seen that this year at 40 years of age, he is certainly performing at the highest of levels.”
While his best individual result this season other than the win at Canadian nationals was 20th in the Stage 21 individual time trial at the Giro d’Italia, his value to the team far supersedes individual glory.
“He is rock solid. He is hard as nails. He is a great example for the young guys. He just gets on with the job in all terrains and all races so he is the guy you can take anywhere and you know what you get,” White continued. “He is someone for our young guys to look up to with his work ethic and commitment to the team.”