Giant-Alpecin‘s key general classification riders Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin have both signed contract extensions, keeping them with the German team until 2018.
The pair surprised a few people this year by putting in strong performances at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España respectively in teams that were not built to support a GC rider.
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Barguil, 23, flirted with the top-10 throughout the Tour de France, eventually finishing 14th, while Dumoulin, 24, was in the Vuelta a España’s red jersey until the penultimate stage, where he lost out to Fabio Aru.
“This year we have seen Tom make a great step forward in his development both as a rider and as a person, which has led to some impressive results already,” said Giant-Alpecin CEO Iwan Spekenbrink. “The way he dealt with his crash at the Tour de France and how he acts as a leader within the team show that he is capable of playing a leadership role.”
Dumoulin enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2014, where he placed highly in several key time trials – including third at the World Championships ITT. He crashed out of the Tour de France on stage three but returned to win two stages of the Vuelta in his unlikely quest for the overall victory.
“I am pleased with how we have worked together so far,” said Dumoulin, who lost 3-52 to Aru on stage 20 of the Vuelta to concede the lead. “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.”
Barguil, meanwhile, went under the radar to finish 14th at the Tour de France in a team that was designed to support John Degenkolb in the sprints. The young Frenchman impressed in the mountains and showed good racing nous to keep out of trouble in the challenging first week.
With the team set up around its sprinters, it was rumoured that Barguil would have to leave the team in order to gain support in the Grand Tours, with Etixx-Quick Step one team he was linked to.
But the team’s change in philosophy led to the departure of sprinter Marcel Kittel and the team now look set to focus on supporting their GC riders.
“With Warren, we decided back in 2013 to create a long-term performance plan to help him become a strong GC rider in the future. As a result, we sent him to this year’s Tour de France to learn and to discover his capabilities in a race like the Tour, which will be an important step in his development as a GC rider.”