Caleb Fairly and Fredrik Ludvigsson joing Giant-Alpecin for 2015, while Cheng Ji renews his contract with the now Germany based team
The 27-year-old joins along with Fredrik Ludvigsson, who joins the team from the Giant-Shimano Development squad at the age of just 20. His brother, Tobias Ludvigsson, already rides for the team and has completed two grand tours since being there.
The first Chinese rider to complete the Tour de France, Cheng Ji, has also signed an extension on his contract with the team. Despite finishing as the lanterne rouge at the Tour this year, Cheng Ji impressed with his ability to pull back breakaways to give his team’s sprinters like Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb a shot at race wins.
Ji told the Giant-Shimano website on the new contract: “Firstly I have to say thanks to the team for their long-term support, help and confidence in me. I am very glad to be able to continue working with the staff and riders for the next two years and to continue our cooperation.
“I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead and I hope that I can continue the progression of my career, working hard for the benefit of the team.”
Meanwhile, Giant have announced that they will be relocating their licence to Germany, having adopted a new German title sponsor in Alpecin for 2015.
Though the team will remain based in the Netherlands, it plans on making development of German riders a priority for the future.
“We are continuing to build the team by feeding in international talent and providing these riders with all the opportunities to progress and develop into world class riders,” said Iwan Spekenbrink, general manager of the team.
“As part of this we will also have a focus on the development of German talent to give them the opportunity to find their way to the highest level of the sport.”
Pro cycling saw a drastic decline in exposure in Germany when TV channel ZDR dropped its rights to Tour de France coverage after one too many doping scandals, while Giant-Alpecin will be the first German representatives in the WorldTour since 2010.
“[Our sponsors] see the importance of and are committed to bringing cycling back to the people in Germany,” Spekenbrink said, “a goal that aligns itself with what we have started to work towards over the past years.
“Meanwhile, cycling in Germany is already getting back on track in a better way than people expect.”