Giant-Shimano announce squad to support Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb at Tour de France

Team reveals separate sprint formations to be built around German duo

Giant-Shimano will launched a two-pronged sprint attack at the Tour de France with Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.

The team have confirmed the riders set to support the German duo and both riders will have a separate sprint formation built around them for the Tour – the ‘pure sprint’ for Kittel and the ‘power sprint’ for Degenkolb.

Marcel Kittel won two stages of the Giro d’Italia before withdrawing with ilnness and will now do battle with Mark Cavendish at the Tour de France (Pic: Sirotti)

The nine-man line-up looking to deliver the German duo to success includes Tom Veelers, Koen de Kort and Tom Dumoulin but there is no place for Criterium du Dauphine stage winner Nikias Arndt.

Cheng Ji, meanwhile, will make history as the first ever Chinese rider to start the Tour, while Albert Timmer, Roy Curvers and Dries Devenyns complete the squad.

Coach Rudi Kemna said: “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.”

Curvers is set to captain the team on the road, while Dumoulin starts among the contenders looking to challenge world time trial champion Tony Martin on stage 20 after showing good form at the Tour de Suisse, where he finished second against the clock behind the German.

And though the team has been picked around forming the best possible sprint formations, on stages not suited to the two sprinters, the squad hopes to play a part in the breakaways.

John Degenkolb, right, will also be backed in  ‘power sprints’, with Giant-Shimano having worked on two separate formations (Pic: Tim de Waele/OPQS)

Kemna added: “The way we are heading in to the Tour is the way that I like to 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 are.”

Discuss in the forum

Giant-Shimano squad for the 2014 Tour de France

Marcel Kittel (GER)
John Degenkolb (GER)
Roy Curvers (NED)
Dries Devenyns (BEL)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Cheng Ji (CHN)
Koen De Kort (NED)
Albert Timmer (NED)
Tom Veelers (NED)

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