New Zealand's most celebrated road cyclist, Julian Dean, is set to join the new Australian team GreenEDGE Cycling for the 2012 season.

The 36-year-old Dean confirmed the move after competing at the UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.

Dean said he was excited about at least one more year at the sport's highest level after he heard about the new Australian team, which was launched earlier this year.

"It is a hugely exciting development for cycling, especially in Australia and New Zealand," Dean said. "After I learned more about the team and their philosophies, I was really enthused and wanted to be part of it.

"With the quality of the team named I'm confident we'll get World Tour status straight away. This is a really big deal and we've not seen anything of this magnitude in any sport in Australasia before. It is huge."

Dean completes his four-year contract with Garmin-Cervelo at the end of the year.

The two-time New Zealand champion has gained a reputation as one of the sport's premier sprinters, with 2010 World Champion Thor Hushovd labelling Dean the best lead-out rider in the world.

GreenEDGE will be Dean's fifth major cycling team after US Postal (1999-2001), CSC-Tiscali (2002-2003), Credit Agricole (2004-2007) and Garmin-Chipotle (later Garmin-Cervelo) in 2008-2011.

He has completed seven Tours de France and was part of this year's Garmin-Cervelo team that won the team time trial and finished as leading team at Le Tour.

He enjoyed three podium finishes in the 2010 Tour de France as well as two podiums at the Giro d'Italia. In the 2008 Tour de France he took a top-10 placing in six stages and in 2009 he was the only professional to complete all three grand tours - the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.

Dean believes he is riding as well as at any time in his long career.

"I think I have something still to offer and believe over the last two to three years especially, I have raced at my best," he said.

"There are plenty of incentives next year with this new team wanting to make a mark and I would also love to compete in my fifth Olympics - that would be special."

Dean would not be drawn if he would retire at the end of next year.

"At this stage I am just looking one year at a time, and there are no specific plans to race in 2013. But you never say "never."