Team Giant-Shimano will change course in 2015, doing away with its development team and instead hosting talent identification events where it hopes to discover tomorrow’s champions.
The team plans to tap the global talent pool, with a focus on German talent, as it moves away from a traditional development team system.
“We have explored the capacities of having a development team connected to our structure this past season, but found it not effective enough in developing our team structure as a whole to continue it for another season,” explained Team Giant-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink.
In 2015, Team Giant-Shimano — which will become Team Giant-Alpecin — will employ a different way of finding new, young, talented riders. Talent days, spread over the course of the year, will be the first method of scouting riders. Hopeful athletes looking to break through at the WorldTour level will be given the chance to prove themselves to the team’s experts.
Riders will be tested both physically and mentally on such days to decipher whether they are a good fit for the team and in possession of the talent and mental strength to develop with the team.
“There are many talents out there, and many riders slip through without being given a real chance to show their true capabilities,” said Spekenbrink. “This is why we have developed a new concept, aimed at giving more young riders the opportunity to use our facilities and to get their chance.”
A multitude of staff, including coaches, trainers, scientists, and others will be involved in the process, adding their knowhow from the WorldTour team to help those who are pinpointed as talented enough to make the team.
The team has an international orientation, but it plans to pay special attention to up-and-coming German riders in 2015 as it takes responsibility for being a precursor to the development of German cycling.
Team Giant-Shimano continues its commitment to the riders currently under contract in the development team. The team will help them continue their cycling careers and help as they continue to develop. Lars van der Haar will progress to the WorldTour team as of the end of his cyclocross season.