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Report: Argos-Shimano to become GiantShimano

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 8, 07:37,
Updated:
January 20, 07:22
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) wins the Champs Elysees stage

Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) wins the Champs Elysees stage

  • Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) wins the Champs Elysees stage
  • Marcel Kittel (Argos - Shimano) in action following his three Tour de France stage wins
  • John Degenkolb (Team Argos - Shimano)
  • Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) won his second stage in a photo finish over Uran

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Bike manufacturer saves the team after principal sponsor withdraws

The Argos-Shimano team will become GiantShimano in 2014 according to a report in the Telegraaf newspaper in the Netherlands. 

Giant, however, is not the big title sponsor that was announced in October and was due to take the title sponsorship for three years. It withdrew after the UCI registration deadline had passed, leaving team manager Iwan Spekenbrink without a title sponsor for 2014. The team's new bike supplier Giant has apparently agreed to step up and become a title sponsor of the Dutch outfit but for one year only, meaning Spekenbrink must hunt for a new sponsor for 2015.

Contacted by Cyclingnews, a team representative would only say: "We will present our new team and sponsor next Monday."

Argos, a chain of gas stations, said at the 2013 team presentation that it was willing to sponsor the successful men's and women's team that includes sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb for another year, with an option for 2015. However Argos began talks to be bought out by Russian investment fund Sistema and the cycling team sponsorship was put in doubt. In October Argos terminated the agreement for 2014.

According to Telegraaf, an American charity institution then contacted Spekenbrink and within a week a three-year contract was signed. Important riders like Kittel, and the riders in his sprint train, signed new multiple years contracts with the team as the team's future seemed secure.

“Very recently, a company expressed interest in taking over the main sponsorship. The new sponsor is a good fit with our ambitious team goals,” said Spekenbrink in a press release in October. "We are also grateful to our new sponsor for expressing such confidence in our organization, athletes and staff and in the vision for top sports and pro cycling upon which our organization is based."

Details of why the sponsorship fell through have yet to emerge. The GiantShimano team will be launched next Monday at an official team presentation. The bike manufacturer has signed a multiple year deal to supply the team's bikes. It will now step up as title sponsor for 2014. The Taiwanese bike manufacturer was also named early 2013 when Rabobank lost its sponsor but the company only wanted to supply the team's bikes. The former Rabobank team rode under the Blanco banner until Belkin signed a deal to become title sponsor. 

 

TommyD 9 months ago
So now Marcel Kittel will have "Giant" emblazoned across his chest? Brilliant!
Broth3r 9 months ago
Sounds like a Digimon.
Rocky Roubaix 9 months ago
Giant and Shimano with Marcel Kittel sounds like a partnership of GIANTS to me. Good for them !
MavicMoto 9 months ago
And what of the Felt contract? Several years left on that.
sixdayglory 9 months ago
As noted above, It appears the days of a 'contract' having any real meaning are going the way of the wooden wheel. If a powerful sponsors says it's over, it's done. However if a rider or staffer tries to get out of a Contract when he's valuable it is a big issue. Same rider or staffer falls off a ladder in the off season and the contract, after further review, suddenly has an escape clause for the sponsor. It's ridiculous
Rickster1 9 months ago
Regarding Felt, see the story listing directly below. They declined to continue sponsoring the team as of the story date of November 21. 2013. Giant was already in the picture then. At least another team has been saved from disappearing. Cycling really has to figure out how to get long term sponsorship for all teams. They need to get rid of the flakey owners like Tinkoff and bring in better ownership. This type of owner and Leopard Trek former owner create havoc and then leave. If teams were considered as franchise's like other pro sports, you would see more corporate ownership come in as the franchise would have some ongoing value. Not saying I want it more corporate but things like the major Tours already are and there has to be some way of creating stability. Cycling needs to become more professional and stable. Teams come and go like the weather with no ability for fans to support a team for any given time. Riders are then focused on but doping has laid low many former heroes. Quite the sport when many past, convicted dopers are riding with contracts and a Grand Tour winner is sitting at home. I guess Trek viewed Voigt as a more bankable rider than Horner. Makes one wonder! And, Trek isn't exactly squeaky clean with its sponsorship of LA for so many years. Cycling is messed up!!!