Giant takes over as title sponsor of former Argos Shimano team, new kit unveiled
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Monday, January 13, 2014

Giant takes over as title sponsor of former Argos Shimano team, new kit unveiled

by VeloNation Press at 1:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Kittel, Degenkolb, Barguil, Wild, Häusler and Garner part of men’s and women’s teams in 2014

Marcel KittelLeft stranded when the planned new sponsor of the Argos Shimano team ultimately did not take up on that commitment, the Giant bicycle company officially confirmed today that it had signed a multi-year deal to back the team of quadruple Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel, fellow sprinter John Degenkolb, Vuelta a España stage winner Warren Barguil and others.

In addition to the men’s WorldTour team, the company will also be the title sponsor a men’s development team plus the Liv/Giant pro women’s team.

The two men’s squads will be known as Giant Shimano, while the women’s squad will be entitled Liv Shimano.

Today’s announcement also saw the unveiling of the new team kit, with the new colours being a black and white colour scheme.

In addition to providing funding for the project, Giant will also provide bikes and apparel to each of the squads.

Kittel thanked Giant’s owners for their support and said that the team was committed to taking big results in 2014 and beyond. “We are very excited to have Giant as our main partner and are looking forward to showing-off their colours from the very beginning of the season,” he stated.

“We have done some testing with the new bikes and they suit me very well. They are ready to handle my power in the sprints.”

Giant ShimanoHe had a superb season in 2013, notching up a total of fifteen wins including four stages in the Tour de France. The latter result saw him prove he was faster than the likes of Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma Quick Step), Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) and Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and he will be keen to hold onto that position in the year ahead.

Degenkolb is the team’s other headline sprinter, as evidenced by his five stage wins in the 2012 Vuelta a España, plus his Vattenfall Cyclassics and Paris-Tours victories last season. He said that the Giant backing was something that motivated him strongly heading into 2014.

“We’re really excited to represent Giant as the main force of our team, and together with them we will take our project in a new direction which is to inspire millions of bike riders all over the world through the actions of our team,” he said.

Barguil is a rider who will represent the team’s hopes in stage races; he took two stage wins in last year’s Vuelta a España as a neo-pro and showed that he has very strong climbing ability. He is still just 22 years of age and can be realistically expected to keep progressing for several more years.

Team Giant-Shimano’s general manager Iwan Spekenbrink faced a lot of stress when the expected sponsor – an American charity – didn’t follow through on its commitment to back the team. When Giant and Shimano stepped up to keep the project going, it meant that potential disaster was averted.

“We are very proud of the confidence that Giant has shown in our athletes, our organization and our vision,” he said. “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.

Liv Shimano“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.”

As for the women’s Liv Shimano team, it will include strong riders such as Kirsten Wild, Claudia Häusler and the two time junior world champion Lucy Garner.

The riders will have a range of bikes to chose from, including the Propel Advanced SL aero road bike, the TCR Advanced SL and Defy Advanced SL road bikes plus the Trinity Advanced SL time trial machine.

Giant CEO said the company was pleased to become the title sponsor. “We’re thrilled to be joining forces with this young, progressive and energetic program,” he stated. “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 U.S. 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.”

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