What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giant-Shimano: Race Preview 7th – 14th April

RACE PREVIEW: Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (WT)

The WorldTour stage racing continues this week with the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco starting today.
Following a strong showing in Catalunya, Warren Barguil (FRA) returns to the hills to once again test himself against some of the world’s best climbers as he continues to prove that he can be regarded in the same category.

Road-captian, Johannes Fröhlinger (GER) who rode a consistent race supporting the team in Catalunya will again be guiding a young line-up here which also includes recent yellow jersey wearer at Critérium International, Tom Dumoulin (NED).

“We will have a good idea of what sort of GC focus we will take after the opening stage which will already shake the overall up a lot,” said coach Addy Engels (NED).

“We have Tom D and Simon Geschke (GER) here too who are also building towards the Ardennes Classics, and they will look to target a stage to test their form.

“And then we have Daan Olivier (NED) in just his second race back after injury so for him we will just see how it goes and let him get his confidence and experience back. In general we will take it day-by-day and take each stage as it comes.”
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (WT)



Warren Barguil (FRA)
Thomas Damuseau (FRA)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Johannes Fröhlinger (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Daan Olivier (NED)
Tom Peterson (USA)
Georg Preidler (AUT)

Addy Engels (NED)

RACE PREVIEW: Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire (2.1)

Team Giant-Shimano heads to the four-day Circuit Cycliste Sarthe in France with a young team including three strong time triallists.
The race is often decided on the individual time trial on stage three and with Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Chad Haga (USA) and Lawson Craddock (USA) here the team stands a good chance of performing well against the clock with three developing young riders.

Ludvigsson finished third overall here last year and will be looking to improve on this after already having taken a time trial win and overall victory in France this season.

“Much like in Critérium International, we have a young team here looking to learn and also to support Tobias for the overall,” said coach Christian Guiberteau (FRA).

“Having finished third here last year he knows what it takes to win it, but with a short time trial the gaps won’t be large and differences may come from other stages too like the tough final day.”
Circuit Cycliste Sarthe – Pays de la Loire (2.1)



Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
Chad Haga (USA)
Thierry Hupond (FRA)
Sea Keong Loh (MAL)
Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE)

Christian Guiberteau (FRA)

RACE PREVIEW: Scheldeprijs (1.HC)

Marcel Kittel (GER) returns to this sprinter’s classic as winner of the past two editions.
Sandwiched between Ronde Van Vlaanderen and Paris – Roubaix, Scheldeprijs is a rare opportunity in the spring classics for the sprinters to have a clear shot at victory and Kittel has shown he likes the race and knows how to win here.

It will be another good opportunity to work on the team’s sprint train and to keep developing this aspect of working for a sprint finish.

“Marcel is in good shape and our goal is to ride for a bunch sprint and to support him before getting the lead-out train up to speed,” said Team Giant-Shimano coach Aike Visbeek (NED).

“I expect an offensive race by the other teams and we will be ready for this. No doubt it will be a hard race for us but we have an experienced team here guided by road captain, Roy Curvers (NED).

“It’s an important race for the team and it is one of only two classics left together with Paris – Roubaix before races racing moves to the Ardennes.”

Looking ahead to the race, Kittel said: “Scheldeprijs is my personal classics highlight as it is the only one I do, so I am really looking forward to it.

“Even if I didn’t win a stage in De Panne, I am feeling confident as I feel good and the team are riding well together.

“We will go all out for the win and even if some of the big names aren’t there it doesn’t change the way we will race – there are still a lot of fast riders in the race.”
Scheldeprijs (1.HC)



Nikias Arndt (GER)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Cheng Ji (CHN)
Marcel Kittel (GER)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)

Aike Visbeek (NED)

RACE PREVIEW: Paris – Roubaix (WT)

Paris – Roubaix this Sunday marks the final cobbled classic before the peloton heads to the hillier Ardennes region.
John Degenkolb (GER) and the team have had a strong classics campaign, including a win at Gent-Wevelgem, and they will be looking to finish on a strong race here in France.

Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) also returns to this race after a strong showing in last year’s edition, and he will be looking to play an important part in this race once again.

The riders will also be using a customised Giant Defy Advanced SL for the race, with adjustments made to the current model to remove some of the stresses that arise when riding over the cobbles.

“John is our main man for Roubaix and if everything goes well on the day we have other guys who can be there at the end to help him,” said Team Giant-Shimano coach, Marc Reef (NED).

“Powerful breakaways can go far in this race and we will be aware of this and see if we have to be there to cover that.

“Paris – Roubaix is another really special race and we are ready for this last cobbled classic. We showed last weekend at Flanders that when we have to be there we can be and that is one of the strengths of the team.”
Paris – Roubaix (WT)



Nikias Arndt (GER)
Bert De Backer (BEL)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Ramon Sinkeldam (NED)
Tom Stamsnijder (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)

Marc Reef (NED)

RACE PREVIEW: Energiewacht Tour (2.2)

The Team Giant-Shimano women return to Holland and to stage racing this week with the Energiewacht Tour.
Last year, Kirsten Wild (NED) took no less than four of the six stages before finishing third overall, and she returns once again this year.

Wild is joined by a strong six-rider line-up including Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner, Amy Pieters (NED) and Claudia Häusler (GER) who performed well at the recent World Cup race, Trofeo Alfreda Binda.

Team Giant-Shimano coach, Dirk Reuling (NED) said: “Last year Kirsten was really strong here but lost the GC in the time trial.

“We go into the race with a clear goal, to ride for Kirsten and we will go for as many stage wins and time bonuses as possible for the overall.

“This year it is a team time trial rather than an individual effort and this should suit us, so we will go as fast as we can there and see how the GC looks after that.”
Energiewacht Tour (2.2)



Claudia Häusler (GER)
Willeke Knol (NED)
Sara Mustonen (SWE)
Amy Pieters (NED)
Julia Soek (NED)
Kirsten Wild (NED)

Dirk Reuling (NED)

RACE PREVIEW: Circuit des Ardennes (2.2)

After a successful Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux, Development Team Giant-Shimano return to action on Friday at the three-day Circuit des Ardennes.
Both Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE) and Kristian Haugaard (DEN) start in France after finishing in the top-10 overall last week. The team is really finding their feet now, riding well together and they are closing in on their first result.

Development Team Giant-Shimano coach, Jens Lang (NED) said: “For the U23 riders this is good preparation for the U23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège race and is a transition from the short cobbled climbs to the longer efforts.

“Hopefully Kristian can go for a good result in the overall. The team are making good steps in their development and we hope for a good race.”
Circuit des Ardennes (2.2)



Jan Brockhoff (GER)
Alex Frame (NZL)
Kristian Haugaard (DEN)
Fredrik Ludvigsson (SWE)
Robert Pölder (SWE)
Maximilian Schachmann (GER)

Jens Lang (NED)

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