Team Argos-Shimano Becomes Team Giant-Shimano
According to a team spokesman, Giant will provide bikes and apparel for not only the WorldTour pro men’s team, but also to a men’s Development Team competing as a UCI Continental squad. Liv/Giant, the cycling brand dedicated to female riders, will supply bikes and apparel to a pro women’s road cycling team.
Giant has agreed to a multi-year commitment to sponsor Team Giant-Shimano, whose team roster includes star riders such as Germans Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb. Following an unexpected break with the team’s expected 2014 title sponsor, Giant chose to secure the team's survival by becoming title sponsor this year, with Shimano remaining on board as co-title sponsor.
In a conversation earlier today Team Giant-Shimano General Manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Roadcycling.com the team is excited to partner with one of the world’s leading producer of high-quality bikes and gear.
“We are very proud of the confidence that Giant has shown in our athletes, our organization and our vision,” Spekenbrink explained and added “By stepping up after our planned title sponsor departed, Giant is demonstrating their belief in the superior results, global reach and integrity we have established over the last several years. The idea of building a new concept in pro cycling together with Giant has been welcomed with great enthusiasm by the riders and the entire organization.”
Team Giant-Shimano has a said mission to advance the sport of cycling and to “Keep Challenging” its athletes, coaches and equipment to push the limits of performance even further. According to a team spokesman it is about inspiring passion for cycling in riders around the world. The organization’s commitment to innovation, technology and athlete support is said to have helped the team win twelve grand tour stages over the past two seasons.
“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with this young, progressive and energetic program,” Giant CEO Tony Lo said in a statement issued today. “We have a shared mission with the team to change and evolve the sport, and to inspire the next generation of riders. Our product development team is already collaborating with this innovation-driven group of riders and staff to test and develop cutting-edge products to help them win at the highest level. With an international roster of European, Asian and American riders, we’re also excited to connect the team with our retail partners and millions of riders worldwide to promote the health, environmental and social benefits of cycling.”
Home to star sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb plus a deep roster of international talent including Frenchman Warren Barguil, the pro men’s team is focused on WorldTour events including the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España, plus major classics and one-day races around the world.
Kittel had an amazing 2013 season, collecting 15 race wins including four stages at the Tour de France. Degenkolb also had a successful year, winning Stage 5 at the Giro d’Italia, the WorldTour classic Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg, and the Paris-Tours Fall classic. Barguil, a neo-pro in 2013, won two stages of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana at age 21.
Spekenbrink has built the squad into one of the sport’s dominant teams by focusing on the development of the most promising talents - a strategy later copied by Cannondale Pro Cycling Team. The organization has a balanced roster of international riders representing 15 countries and recently announced the signing of rising American talents Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga for 2014.
Team Giant-Shimano riders will be supplied with Giant Propel Advanced SL aero road bikes, the legendary TCR Advanced SL road bikes, the Defy Advanced SL endurance road bikes, and the Trinity Advanced SL time trial bikes. All bikes will be equipped with Shimano components. In addition to team bikes, Giant will also supply riders with racing kits and other apparel.
The pro women’s team, led by current stars Kirsten Wild and Claudia Häusler of Germany, will focus on major stage races and World Cups, and will race primarily on the Liv/giant Envie Advanced bike. They are joined by rising star Lucy Garner, a two-time junior road world champion from Great Britain.