Team Giant-Alpecin Presents 2015 Roster and Kit in Berlin
In order to emphasize the team's new German sponsor, Alpecin, the team's vision to promote clean cycling in Germany, and the team's German license, the team launch event took place in Berlin. To honor France's continued significance in professional cycling, the event was situated in the French embassy building on Pariser Platz near Brandenburger Tor.
Both team line-ups were presented and the new team kits were revealed on stage. The full line-up of sponsors and partners was also confirmed, with title partners Giant and Alpecin being joined by the international tour operator Sunweb as a key partner.
The men's team retains the core of its talent from last year, when it proved to be one of the most successful WorldTour teams with over 40 race wins including single-day classics and stage victories at major grand tours.
Kittel, who won four stages at the Tour de France last year and wore the yellow leader's jersey at the season's most prestigious race, and Degenkolb, who won the Gent-Wevelgem classic and took four stage victories at the Vuelta a España, are both returning to lead the team's sprint trains at major 2015 WorldTour events.
Also returning for 2015 are Frenchman Warren Barguil, who finished eighth overall at the 2014 Vuelta a España, and Dutch national time trial champion Tom Dumoulin, who scored a bronze medal in the time trial at the 2014 world championships.
The team will once again field a balanced roster of international talent, including Chinese rider Cheng Ji and young American riders Lawson Craddock, Chad Haga, Carter Jones and Caleb Fairly.
Commenting on the Giant-Alpecin team and its ambitions for 2015, Team Giant-Alpecin general manager Iwan Spekenbrink told Roadcycling.com
"Today is an important day for cycling with us being the first WorldTour team registered in Germany in five years. This team continues to work with a young group of riders and can continue to grow within our elite sporting environment based on the Keep Challenging approach and principles. Alongside this we will also focus on helping the development of German talent within the sport, and on aiding the regrowth of cycling in Germany."
"We must thank all of the persons who are also present here today in Berlin for helping make this a special day in a perfect location, the French embassy in Berlin. It is a great way to kick off our 2015 campaign and we are once again hugely excited about the 2015 racing season."
Alpecin's managing director Eduard R. Dörrenberg told Roadcycling.com "We have worked very hard towards this event. Today is the official start of Team Giant-Alpecin. Within a sporting year without the Olympics or the World Cup more focus is expected to be on the international professional cycling scene. This is a great chance for all of us. The public perception of cycling in Germany is growing, and this helps the sport, the clubs and elite-teams, and the support for growing talents. As a result, more and more attention is given to pro races and the cycling scene in Germany.”
The first race for the men's team is the 2015 Tour Down Under this month, while the women will get their 2015 season underway in February at the Ladies Tour of Qatar. Lars van der Haar will line-up for his first cyclo-cross race in the new team colors on January 11, at the Dutch National Championships - the first competitive showing of the new team colors.
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2015 Team Giant-Alpecin Roster:
2015 Team Liv-Plantur Roster:
Marijn de Vries (NED)
Lucy Garner (GBR)
Claudia Hausler (GER)
Willeke Knol (NED)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Sara Mustonen (SWE)
Maaike Polspoel (BEL)
Julia Soek (NED)
Kyara Stijns (NED)
Kirsten Wild (NED)