Barguil and Dumoulin commit long-term to Giant

GC contenders Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin re-up with Giant-Alpecin for three years as the youngsters find their stride in grand tours.

Photo: BrakeThrough Media

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Three years is a long time in professional cycling — in 2012, few were naming Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin as grand tour contenders — but on Wednesday, both riders committed to their Giant-Alpecin team through 2018.

The 23-year-old didn’t have his best season, results-wise, in 2015, though Barguil did persevere at the Tour de France to finish top-15, despite crashing heavily. Two years ago, the Frenchman won two stages at the Vuelta a España. In 2014, he was eighth overall in the Spanish grand tour.

“I am happy to continue with the team and to improve further as a GC rider,” said Barguil. “When I joined the team in 2012, I signed a contract for a long period of three years, and for me it was clear that I wanted to continue. I am confident that the team can help me take the next steps, and that is why I want to stay for three more years. The atmosphere in the team is great, and my teammates are very helpful, and that is important to me. When I am racing I feel good with everyone around me, and I just don’t want to leave for a different team. Now that the team is growing, it is important to have the right GC support, not only during races but also before and after.”

Dumoulin also credited the team for his success this season: “I feel really good in the team, and I trust that I can develop further in this environment. I will get all the support I need to make the next steps in my career. I am pleased with how we have worked together so far. We have made great progress every year, and this is one of the reasons to stay with the team. Another important factor is that my growth is paralleling the growth of the team, and it is great to be part of a challenging environment.”

He stunned the Vuelta peloton this season by winning stages 9 and 17, and the 24-year-old looked to be on the verge of winning the overall. However, the Dutchman came unglued on the final mountain stage, falling to sixth overall behind overall winner Fabio Aru. Dumoulin also won two stages of the Tour de Suisse in 2015.

Following the exit of sprinter Marcel Kittel to Etixx-Quick-Step, Giant-Alpecin is making a distinct pivot toward grand tours, looking to build on the success of Barguil and Dumoulin. The team will retain a group of riders to support sprinter and classics star John Degenkolb, Dumoulin told VeloNews prior to the world championships, but has also promised to better support the young Dutchman and Frenchman in the mountains.

That that end, Giant-Alpecin announced the signing of Norwegian Sindre Skjøstad Lunke, a strong climber who has twice finished in the top ten of the Tour de l’Avenir. It also brought on German Max Walscheid, a sprinter who could prove valuable in Degenkolb’s leadout train. Both riders are 22 years old.

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