What's Cool In Road Cycling

2017 Preview: Strengthening Programs and Launching Develpment Institute

While Team Giant-Alpecin has been bringing the current road season to a successful close with top-10 finishes in the Eneco Tour GC, Milano-Torino and Giro di Lombardia, and a victory at the Münsterland Giro, from an organizational point of view the focus is also already on the 2017 season.

The German team will strengthen its 2017 men’s and women’s programs – adding both strong leaders and worlds best-in-class talents from the younger generation – and launch a revolutionary development institute.

High-profile riders such as Michael Matthews (AUS) and Wilco Kelderman (NED) will contribute to bring the men’s roster for 2017 and beyond to the next level, while the recently announced addition of former world junior and European U23 time trial champion Lennard Kämna (GER) and Australian U23 champion Chris Hamilton indicates that the team continues to attract the world’s most promising young riders. The women’s roster has also been significantly bolstered for 2017 with the signing of the Dutch duo European TT champion Ellen van Dijk and Lucinda Brand, European junior road champion from Germany, Liane Lippert, and promising French rider Juliette Labous.

As announced during the second rest day of this year’s Tour de France, the engagement of the team’s new main partner, the Switzerland-based company Sunweb, not only allows the team to strengthen the men’s and the women’s rosters and to grow and expand its organization, it also allows for the realization of a long-cherished dream… to invest in the future:
The start of the 2017 season, the first year under the new name Team Sunweb, will mark the launch of the “2000 Tage zur Spitze” project. A major component of this project is the team’s new development program. The vision for this program is not merely to develop riders into the pro ranks; rather, the aim is to develop and deliver the next generation of stars. This revolutionary program aims to be the world’s most prestigious development institute, and only the very best German and international talents will qualify to join.

The team’s twofold strategy is to run and grow a top-performing team in the WorldTour today as well as developing tomorrow’s champions. This strategy is illustrated by the high-profile riders who have signed for the men’s and women’s programs, parallel to the No. 1 and 2 finishers at the world junior championships, Felix Gall (AUT) and Clément Betouigt-Suire (FRA), joining the new development program. This development program, operating from the team base in Germany, will be fully integrated into the team. Forming the next generations of talents will be both on and off the bike via educational programs. This structural investment in the future of German cycling is designed to lead to a continuous stream of talented German riders into the UCI WorldTour and to function as a catalyst for the future of cycling in Germany.

The men’s, women’s and development programs will operate according to the team’s well-established “Keep Challenging” elite sports approach – optimizing cooperation and accessing the same science, technologies and resources.

The team’s long-term ambitions correspond nicely with the ambitions of its main partner, Sunweb, part of the Sundio group, a leading tour operator in Europe, whose commitment to cycling is part of its long-term European growth strategy with Germany as its key growth-market. The team’s long-term partnership with Giant – on an exclusive basis in the UCI WorldTour – will ensure that the both men and women will race on state-of-the-art Giant and Liv machines, respectively, in the years to come. Giant is pursuing several innovation and R&D projects together with the team’s experts and engineers, and both parties will benefit technologically from the cooperation in a broad range of areas.

While Team Giant-Alpecin is aiming high for the remaining races of the current 2016 road season, behind the scenes the foundation is being laid for the 2017 season and beyond.

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