Team Giant-Alpecin was presented to the media and key sponsors on Wednesday, January 7, showing off new bikes and new kits at the 2015 team launch in Berlin. The team’s lineup consists of 27 riders from nine different countries, including returning stars Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb of Germany. In addition to the men’s WorldTour team, the associated Liv-Plantur women’s team was also introduced in Berlin.
“Today is an important day for cycling with the first WorldTour team registered in Germany in five years,” said Iwan Spekenbrink, general manager of Team Giant-Alpecin. “The team continues to work with a young group of riders and can continue to grow within our elite sports environment based on the ‘Keep Challenging’ approach and principles.”
The team retains the core of its talent from last year, when it proved to be one of the most successful WorldTour teams with over 40 race wins including single-day classics and stage victories at major grand tours.
Kittel, who won four stages at the Tour de France last year and wore the yellow leader’s jersey at the season’s most prestigious race, and Degenkolb, who won the Gent-Wevelgem classic and took four stage victories at the Vuelta a España, are both returning to lead the team’s sprint trains at major 2015 WorldTour events.
Also returning for 2015 are Frenchman Warren Barguil, who finished eighth overall at the 2014 Vuelta a España, and Dutch national time trial champion Tom Dumoulin, who scored a bronze medal in the TT at the 2014 world championships.
The team will once again field a balanced roster of international talent, including Chinese star Cheng Ji and four young American riders: Lawson Craddock, Chad Haga, Carter Jones and Caleb Fairly.
“The first year of our partnership exceeded our expectations and we are looking forward to the coming season,” said Tony Lo, Giant CEO. “It not only allows us to keep developing and testing the most competitive products at the highest stage, but it also allows us to connect with riders. The team is a great asset to spread the message to cyclists around the world that cycling is a fun, social and eco-friendly activity.”
Team Giant-Alpecin riders have four Giant race bikes to choose from, depending on their goals and the terrain: the Propel Advanced SL aero road bike, the legendary TCR Advanced SL road bike, the Defy Advanced SL endurance road bike and the Trinity Advanced SL time trial bike.
The Liv-Plantur women’s team, featuring two-time junior world champion Lucy Garner of Great Britain, and Dutch rider Sabrina Stultiens, winner of the 2014 Under-23 European road championship, will focus on the UCI Women’s World Cup and other international stage races. Riders will race primarily on the Liv Envie Advanced Pro bike.
Beyond the bikes, Giant and Liv will also supply a full range of high-performance helmets to the men’s and women’s teams, including the superlight and superior fitting Rev road racing model. Giant has also been working with its team of designers and engineers to develop cutting-edge aero road and time trial helmets to be used by the Giant-Alpecin and Liv-Plantur teams throughout the racing season.
The first race of the 2015 season for the men will be the Santos Tour Down Under, which begins January 17 in Australia. The women’s team will kick off its season in February, at the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
The first rider to show off the Team Giant-Alpecin colors in a pro race will be cyclocross star Lars van der Haar. The defending World Cup champion will wear the new team colors at the Dutch national championships this Sunday.
To learn more about Team Giant-Alpecin and Team Liv-Plantur, including full rosters for both teams, go to the team’s website at www.teamgiantalpecin.com.