Team Giant-Shimano can now announce the final nine-riders who will line-up in Yorkshire on 5th July for the start of the 101st Tour de France.
The team is formed around the main goal of winning a stage and for this 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.
One of the riders within the sprint formation for the Tour is Cheng Ji who will be making history as the first Chinese rider to participate in the Tour de France.
Team Giant-Shimano coach Rudi Kemna said of having Ji in the team: “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.”
Other riders forming the line-up for Team Giant-Shimano’s fourth start at the world’s biggest race include road captain Roy Curvers, starting his third Tour. Dries Devenyns starts his first Tour for the team, while trusty lead-out men Koen De Kort and Tom Veelers, together with the indefatigable Albert Timmer return after playing their part in the team’s 2013 success at this race. The line-up is then completed by 23-year-old Tom Dumoulin who returns for his second Tour.
Dumoulin carries an extra element to the team’s Tour de France opportunities with an ever-improving time trialing capability which he will be looking to put to good use in the one individual time trial of the race on Stage 20.
Each rider has been selected with a view to forming the best possible sprint formations around both Kittel and Degenkolb, through analysis and development with the team’s experts and coaches. Then for stages that are not suited to either the Pure or Power Sprint Formation, riders will have opportunities to go on the offensive in the breakaways.
Kemna said of the selection: “It is always hard picking a selection for the Tour, and especially so this year when we have so many riders all at near enough the same level and capable of bringing a lot to the team.
“With the team we have selected we have a strong group well balanced to race as well as possible towards our main objective – winning a stage of the Tour.
“The way we are heading in to the Tour is the way that I like start a race – with a team full of confidence and with clear goals. I am looking forward to going to the Tour and showing the world who Team Giant-Shimano is.”
Team Giant-Shimano Tour de France line-up: