Vuelta Win for Degenkolb

DegenkolbTeam Giant-Shimano’s John Degenkolb sprinted to victory in Córdoba yesterday to win Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España; the German rider finished the 164.7k leg from Mairena del Alcor to Córdoba in 4h 02′ 55” making it his sixth career Vuelta stage victory and Giant-Shimano’s second year of taking stage wins in all three Grand Tours, as well as the seventh Grand Tour in a row where the team have won a stage.


Degenkolb comments on his hard-won victory in oppressive heat, saying: ‘Yesterday was quite a disappointment not to hang on, but today I felt a little bit better. To handle this heat I need one or two days to adapt… It was like riding in a sauna today, it was impossible to get enough drink and ice. The team were great firstly before the climb in helping with this then after in positioning me and chasing the attacks. Birthday boy Chad especially did a fabulous job and it’s nice to make him a birthday present.It’s a long time since my last win, I counted last night and I think it I have 13 second places since winning Gent Wevelgem so it’s a big relief to be back winning.’


More on Team Giant-Shimano at


Details of the Vuelta a España on Cyclo here and on the official website at



Team Giant-Shimano Line up for Vuelta

Team Giant-ShimanoTeam Giant-Shimano has announced its 13-rider long-list for the 69th Vuelta a España, which starts with a team time trial on August 23. The first mountain stage comes after just six days with a summit finish in Granada. The rest of the race presents a plethora of different opportunities which Team Giant-Shimano say their line-up will reflect.


The Vuelta long-list comprises German riders Nikias Arndt, John Degenkolb and Johannes Fröhlinger, Warren Barguil, Thomas Damuseau and Thierry Hupond of France, Americans Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga, Koen De Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam and Tom Stamsnijder (Netherlands), Swede Tobias Ludvigsson and South African Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.



Team Giant-Shimano coach Christian Guiberteau said of the pre-selection ahead of the race: ‘We head into the Vuelta with two real objectives, firstly to help support Warren towards a good overall result in the race. In this we will also help both Warren develop as a leader and also some of the other younger riders in the team to progress in working every day for an overall goal. As well as this we want to target a sprint win but the opportunities for this outcome are few and far between. The team will be built around aiming for these objectives while at the same time focusing on the development that you get from riding a Grand Tour.’


More on the Vuelta a España at and on Team Giant-Shimano at



Cheng Ji Makes Tour de France History

Marcel KittelTeam Giant-Shimano has announced the final nine riders who will line-up in Yorkshire on July 5 for the start of the 101st Tour de France. They are: Roy Curvers (NED), John Degenkolb (GER), Dries Devenyns (BEL), Tom Dumoulin (NED), Cheng Ji (CHN), Marcel Kittel (GER), Koen De Kort (NED), Albert Timmer (NED) and Tom Veelers (NED). With their primary aim of winning a stage, Team Giant-Shimano has developed two sprint formations, the first revolving around Marcel Kittel – the ‘Pure Sprint Formation’ – and the second, around John Degenkolb – the ‘Power Sprint Formation.’


Cheng Ji will be making history as the first Chinese rider to participate in the Tour de France, with Team Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna commenting: ‘When we started working with him as a young talented rider back in 2008 we made a long-term plan and this has seen him develop into the highest level of the sport and we see him now playing an important factor in the sprint formations. Having Cheng in the team as the first Chinese rider ever to ride the Tour de France will be huge for him and his country and we look forward to seeing the impact this has on the Globalisation of the sport.’


Kittel Out of the Giro d’Italia

Giant-ShimanoIn a major blow to Team Giant Shimano’s tour ambitions Marcel Kittel has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia before the start of today’s fourth stage, 121km Giovinazzo – Bari, due to a fever.


The Team Giant-Shimano medical staff, along with Kittel decided this morning that the double Giro stage winner would not start today’s stage with coach, Marc Reef saying: ‘We made the decision here before the start of the fourth stage that Marcel would not continue the race. Two days ago, after the third stage he already indicated that he did not feel 100%. Yesterday morning he said that he felt better, but this morning at breakfast he had the same complaints and after a few check-ups with our team physician we saw that the fever had deteriorated and so we made the decision together that he should not continue.’
‘It is a hard decision and a big loss for the team and a pity for Marcel,’ continued Reef, ‘But we have to move on and with Luka (Mezgec) we have another strong sprinter on board. We will rebuild our positioning in the sprint train and keep challenging with Luka on the flats now.’

For his part Kittel added: ‘I am very disappointed about leaving the Giro after such a strong start in good condition, but I do not feel healthy and I am not in the position to start the race in this condition. I want to thank my team for their support these past few days and wish them the best of luck for the rest of the race.’



Kittel Wins in Belfast

giro_italia_largeGermany’s Marcel Kittel has won the first road stage of the 97th Giro d’Italia for Team Giant-Shimano, a stage they team say they had set their sites on since the route was announced. Kittel took the final bend at the end of the 219km stage that started and ended in Belfast and outstripped Nacer Bouhanni ( and Trek Factory Racing’s Giacomo Nizzolo to win in 5:13:12″.


Kittel commented on his victory: ‘I am so happy with how it worked out today, and to get the Giro off to a great start for not only me but the whole team. The finish went quite well considering it was pretty hard to get a lead-out going on the technical run-in. The guys set me up in position and even though I was a bit isolated I managed to come round the others in the last few hundred metres… This was our target, getting the Giro off to the best start possible on the flat sprint stages here in Ireland and to re-pay the team here for their confidence and hard work is a great feeling.’


Team Sky’s Ben Swift, Britain’s only rider taking place in this year’s Giro d’Italia, finished seventh, placing him at 30th on General Classification. The Orica-GreenEDGE trio of Michael Matthews, Luke Durbridge and Ivan Santaromita currently head the GC going into tomorrow’s 187km Stage 3 Armagh – Dublin.


Following a rest day on Monday the Giro d’Italia continues back on Italian soil on Tuesday, May 13.



Giant-Shimano Confirm Giro d’Italia Line-Up

Giant-ShimanoTeam Giant-Shimano have announced their final nine-rider line-up for the first Grand Tour of the 2014 season, the Giro d’Italia, which starts in Belfast on May 9. Having already detailed Germany’s Marcel Kittel’s participation earlier in April, the team have now targeted the sprints with young Slovenian, Luka Mezgec, who already has four victories secured this season, and confirmed both Simon Geschke (Germany) and Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden).  For his part in the Giro Kittel comments: ‘Our first goal for the Giro d’Italia is to go for a stage and there are plenty of early opportunities for this with several flat days… I got the Tour de Romandie off to a strong start yesterday in the prologue and hope to have a good week of preparation here with some hard racing kilometres to get me ready for the start of the Giro next week.’


Team Giant-Shimano’s full team for the Giro d’Italia is: Bert de Backer (BEL), Simon Geschke (GER), Marcel Kittel (GER), Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE), Luka Mezgec (SLO), Georg Preidler (AUT), Tom Stamsnijder (NED), Albert Timmer (NED), Tom Veelers (NED).


Speaking about the line up for the Giro, Team Giant-Shimano coach, Addy Engels said: ‘The first goal for the Giro with Marcel in the team will obviously be for the sprints, and for the stages that are slightly too hilly for him we can ride for Luka too. We have a strong line-up of riders who will be able to support this in terms of chasing down the breaks and also for the lead-outs. Then there’s a part of the team that will be looking for results from the other stages and taking their chances when they can – guys like Tobias, Simon and Georg. Opportunities like these are great for learning and development, as being out front in the final stages of a Grand Tour stage is no easy feat…’


This year’s Giro d’Italia starts with three stages outside Italy, taking in Northern Ireland and Ireland. Starting with a time trial in Belfast on Friday May 9, the race will move on to Italy from Tuesday May 13 and end in Trieste on Sunday June 1.


Take a look at the Cyclo feature on this year’s Giro d’Italia here - Further details on Team Giant-Shimano at



Wild Rules at Ladies Tour of Qatar

kirsten wildDutch rider Kirsten Wild of Team Giant-Shimano is known for both her power and sprint prowess, both of which she demonstrated today by winning the opening stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar and the leaders jersey. Having won the overall event last year, her first with the team, she showed similar form today dominating all three intermediate sprints, taking three bonus seconds at each which further increased her lead by the finish.


Coach, Ruud Verhagen, said: ‘The team rode great today and were rewarded with the perfect result. After 60km the race split into several groups, with Amy and Kirsten up front and the rest of the team in the second group of around 25 riders. The second group were chasing right up until the last kilometre so the pace at the front stayed high which was perfect for Kirsten. Amy controlled it really well and then Kirsten sprinted perfectly to take the win. We couldn’t have started better.’


Having also won the Ladies Tour of Qatar in 2009 and 2010 Wild will be looking to extend the lead in tomorrow’s Stage 2, 112.5km from Al Zubara to Madinat Al Shamal.


Further details of the Ladies Tour of Qatar at



Limburg Cycling Academy Moves Forward

Team Giant-ShimanoTeam Giant-Shimano have announced an agreement with the province of Limburg in the Netherlands to help turn it into an international elite sports training area, attracting national and international talent to what will be known as the Limburg Cycling Academy.


Limburg is already well known in the world of cycling both as the home to the Amstel Gold Race and having hosted the road world championships no fewer than six times. Team Giant-Shimano will base its international riders in Limburg, allowing them to benefit from the top-quality housing, education, scientific and technical innovations, and training facilities and in return the province will draw on the expertise of the team to further develop the project and to: ‘obtain the necessary elite sports input and perspective.’


Iwan Spekenbrink, general manager of Team Giant-Shimano, commented on the Limburg Cycling Academy announcement: ‘To build a team, you need to invest in the development of individual athletes. It is our vision to guide our riders intensively, using the modern facilities here. The Limburg Cycling Academy is an important development in the world of cycling. Excellent facilities are concentrated in an area that is perfect for cycling and where the sport is popular and embraced by the local people… Our riders are looking forward to spending time in Limburg and benefiting from these outstanding facilities between races and the training camps at our training base in Spain.’