Following the withdrawal of Rabobank's sponsorship from the Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team, bike sponsor Giant has taken over full title sponsorship of the mountain bike team. In 2013, the squad will be known as Giant Pro Cross Country Team.
Former world champion Maja Wloszczowska is the newest big signing. She is making the move from the CCC Polkowice team after a disappointing 2012, when she was sidelined mid-season by a foot and ankle injury and had to miss the Olympic Games and Worlds.
Wloszczowska will have some good company next season as the Giant Pro Cross Country team has also signed U23 world champion Jolanda Neff, who is transferring from the Wheeler - IXS Team. Pro road, 'cross and track racer Marianne Vos (Rabobank Liv/Giant) will guest ride with the Giant Pro Cross Country Team for several major events, including in Cyprus, at the Sea Otter Classic in the USA, at the Val di Sole World Cup in Italy and some Dutch races.
The Giant Pro XC Team has retained the bulk of its World Cup cross country mountain bike riders, including rising star Fabian Giger of Switzerland, who this year finished fifth at world championships, the best result of his career.
The team will also continue to feature former junior world champion Michiel van der Heijden. Giant said that a full roster for its cross country team will officially be announced next week. In the interim, Cyclingnews has learned that the following riders will also remain with the team for 2013: Henk Jaap Moorlag, Emil Lindgren and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.
Its racers will compete on a variety of Giant off-road bikes, including the XtC Advanced SL 29er and Anthem X Advanced 29er.