After securing a place in the 2015 WorldTour and registering in Germany, the Giant-Alpecin team has announced the signing of two more riders, including the USA's Caleb Fairly. Fredrik Ludvigsson steps up from the Giant-Shimano development team and China's Cheng Ji has extended his contract for another two years.
Fairly, 27 rode for the Garmin-Sharp team in 2014 but was not retained for the merger with Cannondale for 2015. "I'm really excited to be riding with Team Giant-Alpecin and am grateful for their confidence in me,” he said in a statement from the team.
"Since the team began, I have been impressed with how they work to develop riders, and for the first time in my career I had more than one option so it gave me the opportunity to look at what I value in a team. Iwan [Spekenbrink - General Manager] has developed a well-structured and organised team, and these are very important qualities to me, so I couldn't be more positive about the opportunity."
Cheng Ji made history as the first Chinese rider at the Tour de France in 2014, earning the nick-name 'breakaway killer' for the way he worked on the front of the peloton during stages to chase down the breaks and set up sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.
Giant-Alpecin registered in Germany for 2015
The arrival of Alpecin as an important second sponsor has secured the team's long-term future. The shampoo is sold globally but is a German company and the team hopes registering as a German team will help them revive the interest in professional cycling in Germany. Both Kittel and Degenkolb are German and are leading a new wave of German riders that emerged after the doping scandals involving Jan Ullrich and the Telekom team. The Giant-Alpecin service course and administrative base will remain in the Netherlands. It is the first time since 2010 that a WorldTour team has been registered in Germany.
"We are continuing to build the team by feeding in international talent and providing these riders with all the opportunities to progress and develop into world-class riders," explained Team Giant-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink.
"As part of this we will also have a focus on the development of German talent to give them the opportunity to find their way to the highest level of the sport. Our sponsors have international interests and part of their involvement in the team is to have a global marketing platform to help grow their ambitions across the world, which fits very well with the international set-up that we have aimed to build from the very start. But in addition to this, they also see the importance of and are committed to bringing cycling back to the people in Germany, a goal that aligns itself with what we have started to work towards over the past years."
The Giant-Shimano women’s team will become Team Liv-Plantur, named after the women's brands of Giant (Liv) and Alpecin (Plantur), and will race under a Dutch licence in 2015.
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