Giant has been confirmed as the lead sponsor of the former Argos-Shimano team for the next four year.
Along with a new sponsor comes a new jersey. Gone is the all white kit and it is been replaced by a black and white effort that is somewhat reminiscent of the Blanco kit of early last year. The jersey is dominated by the logos of the two main sponsors, with two black stripes down the front and back of the jersey.
Giant had already agreed to supply the team with bikes, but stepped up when another potential sponsor fell through. The multi-year deal will provide some much needed security for the team. "We are very proud of the confidence that Giant has shown in our athletes, our organization and our vision,” said team manager Iwan Spekenbrink.
“By stepping up after our planned title sponsor departed, Giant is demonstrating their belief in the superior results, global reach and integrity we have established over the last several years."
Sprinter Marcel Kittel is the team's star rider, after he won four stages of the Tour de France in 2013. He will be looking to wear the yellow jersey again this season, supported by the team's other star sprinter John Degenkolb. Between them, the two Germans won 22 races.
Degenkolb will also carry much of the team's ambitions in the spring classics, while Warren Barguil will be Giant-Shimano's primary general classification hope in stage races. At 22, the Frenchman is still developing, but his two Vuelta a España stage wins show significant grand tour potential.
Kirsten Wild leads the line in the women's team. The prolific sprinter took 17 victories on the road last year, including Gent-Wevelgem, and three stages and the general classification at the Tour of Qatar. Two-time Junior Women's World Champion Lucy Garner also continues with the team. They will be supplied with bikes and equipment by the Liv/Giant company.
Giant will also sponsor a development team, which will compete in the Continental ranks. The team has a number of riders in Australia for the Tour Down Under, and they will ride in their new kit in training for the first time on Tuesday.
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