Marcel Kittel confident of Giant-Shimano future despite concern over 2015 sponsorship
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 11/05/14 10:07am
Marcel Kittel is confident he will still be riding for Giant-Shimano next year, despite doubts over the team’s future sponsorship.
The Dutch squad’s deal with Giant is due to expire at the end of the year and a backer for 2015 has not yet been lined up.
The team encountered similar problems last winter, when Argos ended their title sponsorship and a deal with an American charity to fill the void fell through at the last minute.
Bike manufacturer Giant stepped in to save the day, but it emerged last month that they had only signed a one-year contract, prompting fresh concerns over whether one of the peloton’s strongest sprint outfits will continue next season.
Kittel, though, is adamant he has trust in the team’s management and will not be seeking a contract elsewhere.
Speaking after his win on stage two of the Giro d’Italia in Belfast, the German said: “The contract is until the end of the year but you can always extend the contract. I think we are in a good way - that’s what I heard from the management of our team – and that makes me not worried because I trust them.”
Kittel's victory at the Giro means he has now won stages at all three Grand Tours with Giant-Shimano, and he underlined his commitment to the squad by acknowledging the role of his team-mates in his success.
He added: "What makes me especially proud is there are some riders in the team who won every Grand Tour stage with me, which is a nice experience."
The Vacansoleil-DCM and Euskaltel-Euskadi teams were both wound up at the end of last year due to a lack of sponsors, but a new team set up by Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso is expected to join the UCI WorldTour next season.