Giant-Alpecin set to announce major new sponsor on Tour rest day

Team re-signs Kirchmann, Chris Hamilton joins

On the first rest-day in this year's Tour de France, Team Giant-Alpecin will unveil a major new title sponsorship for 2017 with the team set to expand in the coming years, Cyclingnews has learnt.

Earlier this year the team announced the formation of a development programme that will aim to boost grass roots German cycling, and Cyclingnews understands that the men's and women's elite teams will strengthen on a number of different fronts, with Giro Rosa prologue winner Leah Kirchmann re-signing for the women's team and Australian Chris Hamilton making the step up from the U23 ranks and joining the WorldTour team next season.

Hamilton is seen as one of the next up-and-coming Australian riders and finished in the top 10 at the Tour Down Under in January. He is also the current national U23 road champion and won the U23 criterium equivalent in 2015.

Cyclingnews confirmed in June that Michael Matthews (Orica) will join the team for next year too, while John Degenkolb is expected to depart for pastures new. The team are expected to also sign a number of other German riders.

However, the news over a new title sponsor is shrouded in mystery. Apparently the team's "2000 Tage zur Spitze" (2000 days to the top) and "Creating Memories" social media campaigns are related to the sponsor announcement, which is set to be made during this Tour de France.

L'Equipe wrote on Sunday that Alpecin would leave the team and join up as a secondary sponsor at Katusha, but Cyclingnews also understands that no such deal has been signed and that the German brand are still talking to Giant's bosses about remaining on board next season.

We can reveal, though, that the team will announce the major sponsor on the Tour's first rest-day, with a 1 billion Euros turn-over Swiss based company to be rumoured as the team's new major sponsor.

The team were unavailable for comment when Cyclingnews contacted them.

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