Tom Dumoulin wears 2017 Sunweb team kit with Giant team bike

Germany | Team website

The roots of Team Sunweb stretch back to 2005, when the squad was known as Shimano–Memory Corp, before becoming Skil-Shimano, Giant-Shimano and then Giant-Alpecin. With holiday company Sunweb signing up for a three-year sponsorship deal, the team heads into 2017 with a new name, new kit and new aims.

Tom Dumoulin is possibly the squad’s brightest hope. Having made a name for himself in the 2015 Vuelta a España where he finished sixth overall, he subsequently won stages in the 2016 Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

Although Dutchman Dumoulin’s 2016 was built around the Rio Olympic Games time trial (where he took silver behind Fabian Cancellara), 2017 will be all about building on his already impressive Grand Tour performances. Very few riders can beat Dumoulin against the clock, and his climbing is improving.

Frenchman Warren Barguil is the team’s other big hitter in the more prestigious stage races, having finished eighth in the 2014 Giro and 14th in the 2015 Tour.

The loss of John Degenkolb to Trek-Segafredo for 2017 does mean that the squad is weakened somewhat in the Classics – with Degenkolb having provided the team with two of its biggest wins with victory in both the 2015 Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo.

In January 2016, the team suffered a major setback and tragedy when a car hit a training group in Calpe, Spain, injuring six riders including Degenkolb, who nearly lost a finger. It scuppered the entire squad’s early season as they found themselves short-handed and subsequently – and understandably – had a quiet season in terms of results.