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Laurens ten Dam signs for Giant-Alpecin

We have an exclusive interview with Laurens ten Dam on this transfer and his future ambitions, which you can read by clicking here.

Laurens ten Dam has signed a one-year contract with Giant-Alpecin for 2016. The 34-year-old leaves LottoNL-Jumbo – formerly known as Rabobank – after eight years of service.

The Dutch rider finished ninth in last year's Tour de France and, despite a relatively disappointing season this year, hopes to help Giant-Alpecin challenge in stage races next term. The team have shifted some of their emphasis to stage races with sprinter Marcel Kittel leaving for Etixx QuickStep and the team seeing the emergence of Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil in Grand Tours.

"I broke my back two weeks after the Tour de France, which made me step back and look at a few things differently. I wanted to do a good season in Europe and live in the US," said ten Dam in a statement from the team.

"At Team Giant-Alpecin all this came together in a good way, and I will have those opportunities. I am looking forward to working in a challenging new environment and aim to play an important role for Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin and share my experience on the highest level."

Ten Dam will combine European and US-based race programmes in 2016. He will be based in California for most of the season and hopes to race the domestic calendar before building up towards the Tour de France in July. His signing represents a light departure from the team's commitment to youth development, but he brings bags of experience having ridden 12 Grand Tours, with top-10s at the Tour and Vuelta a Espana. 

"We were looking for a rider who is strong in the high mountains to support our GC riders and who also fits in with the profile and philosophy of the team, and in Laurens we have found that rider," said Giant-Alpecin coach Rudi Kemna.

"The relatively 'older' ten Dam was recruited for a particular task in the overall team, for which Team Giant-Alpecin had identified his specific experience and skills. We know that he has class and we expect him to play a significant and specific role in the team's race plan on the climbs. Besides his physical ability, we will make use of his tactical knowledge.

"We will offer Laurens optimum guidance to help him and motivate him to keep aiming for further improvement in certain areas, despite his apparent status as a rider who has 'arrived,' so he can continue to get the most out of his career."

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