Simon Gerrans set to re-sign with Orica-GreenEDGE

Nancy: Simon Gerrans is on the cusp of re-signing with Orica-GreenEDGE for at least two years, Australian team general manager Shayne Bannan says.

Bannan confirmed this after the 234.5-kilometre seventh stage of this year's Tour de France from Epernay to Nancy.

Italian Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the crash-marred stage in a sprint from Slovakian Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Frenchman Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol).

Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) retained his overall lead of two seconds on second placed Danish teammate Jakob Fuglsang and Sagan who was third at 44s. Australian Richie Porte (Sky) was seventh overall at 1m 54s.

Asked if Gerrans had signed a new contract, Bannan said: "Not yet. We are getting really close, but the official signing hasn't been done as yet."

Pressed if he felt a deal was all but assured, he said: "We would certainly like to think that way. He has been great for us, and vice-versa, so we are getting close."

As for the length of any such agreement, Bannan said: "If we come to an agreement, it will be for more than one season.

"We can only think of the next couple of years."

He said Gerrans, Australian road champion and winner of this year's Tour Down Under and Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic in Belgium, was central to the operation of the Australian World Tour team that is now in its third year.

"He is the consummate professional. He really commits," Bannan said.

"He is a great mentor to the younger riders. He also keeps the staff on their toes in terms of always wanting the best. And he is just an amazing asset to the team."

Bannan's praise of Gerrans came just after he had placed a strong fifth in Friday's seventh stage, only to become the target of claims by Tour contender Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) that he caused the American's crash with 200m to go.

Gerrans dismissed the claims, and also Talansky's demand for an apology.

For Gerrans, his result was a strong sign he was making a strong recovery from injuries sustained in his own crash on stage one to Harrogate in Yorkshire.

"[It] is a stage I was targeting since before the Tour started," Gerrans said. "It was going to be a little bit touch and go how I pulled after my crash on the first stage.

"[The result] was a good indication. Unfortunately I didn't get up for a place there, but that was the best I have felt since stage one. That's all looking good moving forward.

"I had an unlucky first few days there [on the Tour], but [the recovery] seems to be coming around now and I'm recovering from the crashes and feeling a lot better."

This story Simon Gerrans set to re-sign with Orica-GreenEDGE first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.