Happy heads at Dutch outfit

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Giant-Shimano has today confirmed a four-year co-title sponsorship deal with German shampoo producer Alpecin effective as of January 2015.

The highly successful WorldTour outfit, home to sprint king Marcel Kittel and his famous blonde coif, will be known as Giant-Alpecin from next season. Shimano is set to stay on as technical partner.

Alpecin is a global company that produces caffeine-based shampoos designed to promote hair growth. Its once marketing tagline ‘doping for the hair’ made headlines in 2012 when Jan Ullrich signed on as an ambassador.

“Alpecin has been committed to cycling for more than half a century. With this important step, for us the circle is now complete. For Alpecin unique opportunities to activate new worldwide markets open up, working in cooperation with Giant, the biggest worldwide bike producer,” said company excecutive director Eduard R. Dörrenberg in a team statement.

The deal marks the return of a German title sponsor to a top-tier cycling team, which is fitting with eight-time Tour de France stage winner Kittel being one of five Germans, including Vuelta a Espana green jersey champion John Degenkolb, on the current roster.

Giant stepped up as a co-title sponsor one year earlier than anticipated when an unnamed American benefactor withdrew support at the 11th hour last season. The bike manufacturer has supported this new alliance and the added and long-term security it brings.

“In partnership with Shimano, we made a strong commitment to the team this year so they could compete at the highest level. We’re happy that the performance and dedication of the riders and staff has led to the addition of Alpecin as a new long-term partner. Our mission to advance the sport of cycling, and to promote this healthy activity worldwide, will continue with team Giant-Alpecin,” said Giant CEO Tony Lo.

Further details of the sponsorship deal and working strategy will be outlined in future months.