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Life after Kittel: new-look Giant-Alpecin to fire on all fronts in 2016

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The 2015 Giant-Alpecin Tour de France team

The 2015 Giant-Alpecin Tour de France team
(Image credit: Team Giant-Alpecin)
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Tom Dumoulin in the Giant-Alpecin train on Stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana

Tom Dumoulin in the Giant-Alpecin train on Stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin)

John Degenkolb (Giant Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) signs on

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) signs on
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) dropped Chris Froome (Team Sky) to win stage 9

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) dropped Chris Froome (Team Sky) to win stage 9
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin)

Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Laurens ten Dam (LottoNl-Jumbo)

Laurens ten Dam (LottoNl-Jumbo)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

A marquee rider in Marcel Kittel may have left, but Giant-Alpecin are hurtling towards 2016 with arguably their strongest line-up in history. I's not quite the cycling equivalent of total football but, under manager Iwan Spekenbrink's quiet evolution, the squad have become one of cycling's most versatile outfits.

In seasons past Spekenbrink would have wandered into the Palais des Congrès in Paris for the Tour de France presentation with the sole purpose of counting up the number of sprint stages available. The mountains, the time trials even, would have all been afterthoughts for the team manager. A prologue may have pricked his ears but only because it would mean the opening stage would not end in a sprint. That said, if you're going to be a one-trick pony then you might as well be the best.