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Carter Jones signs with Giant-Shimano

Team Giant-Shimano announced Monday that American Carter Jones had signed with the WorldTour team for the next two years, beginning with the 2015 season.

Jones, 25, has had a steady climb through the Continental ranks for the past two years, riding for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies most recently. He won the King of the Mountains classification at the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, was eighth overall at the 2013 Tour of Utah, first overall at the 2014 Tour of the Gila, seventh overall at the 2014 Tour of Utah, and eighth at the 2014 USA Pro Challenge this August.

“Carter is a talented climber that we have been following for the past two seasons,” said Giant-Shimano coach Marc Reef. “He has been improving year-on-year and has already finished in the top 10 in Utah and the USA Pro Challenge.

“He’s made another step up this year and with his climbing strength he will be a good addition to support Warren [Barguil] and Tom [Dumoulin] in stage races. There’s still progression possible with an improved race program and also the opportunities to develop his time trialing, working with the experts on our team, and to improve as a GC rider himself.”

Jones struggled with injuries for two seasons early in his career, as he rode under Axel Merckx on the Bontrager squad. But as he was racing in the U23 ranks, he was also attending the University of Colorado in Boulder, earning degrees in integrative physiology and sociology. The past two seasons have been much smoother, and Jones was set on making the WorldTour.

“I am really looking forward to joining the team and the race program,” Jones said. “I have heard great things from Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga about the team [both Americans that joined the team last year], and that is what you see from the outside too — riders making steps forward in their careers.

“I would like to gain experience in the WorldTour and to support Barguil and Dumoulin, while also developing as a rider — the most important goal next season for me is to gain experience. My current director Jonas Carney has been instrumental in supporting me in helping me step up to the WorldTour and I thank him and the team for this opportunity.”