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"In general, we track riders by screening race results, and we use select races as indicators. If riders pop up on our radar their power files will be analyzed by our scientific expert Teun [van Erp]."

Photo: Team Giant-Alpecin

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17.08.2016 @ 16:36 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Giant-Alpecin reports that the formation of its German-based Development Program is taking shape. In the beginning of June, the team announced the start of its modern and prestigious Development Program from 2017 onwards. Led by the same team of coaches and experts as the WorldTour team, its Development counterpart will provide a new generation of young and talented riders with the guidance, coaching and sports science they need to advance their careers while offering them the chance to fulfill their dream of becoming professional athletes.

The team aims to build the top talent development program in the sport. While maintaining its international orientation, this program will specifically encourage and work with a core of talented German riders and staff, in accordance with the team’s goal of advancing German cycling. The approach is focused on grassroots development, supporting the growth of German cycling from its base, and offers Germany’s sole complete development pyramid. Featuring the German Talent Days in cooperation with the German Cycling Federation (BDR), and the new German-based Development Program as the next step to that, with, at the very top of that pyramid, the German-licensed WorldTour team. The team is confident the structure will support a continuous and long-term flow of the most promising German riders entering into the WorldTour.

Max Kanter (GER) has already been announced as joining the Development Program, following a spot as a stagiaire for the WorldTour team for the remainder of the current season. The German is considered an all-rounder with the potential to perform well in the classics. He put himself on the team's radar with strong showings in 2015, proving himself to be one of the best riders in his juniors class. After confirming Kanter, Team Giant-Alpecin is pleased to announce the signing of a selection of other riders. 

Joining Kanter is fellow German, 19-year-old Florian Stork who puts ink to a one-year agreement. Coming over from the Continental Team Sauerland NRW p/b Henley & Partners, the German placed fifth at the National TT Championships following a strong 2015 season as a junior. He's joined by Frenchman Clément Betouigt-Suire, runner-up at last season's junior World Road Race Championships, and a huge talent for the future, with a two-year contract.

Also joining the Development Program is the Dutch duo of 18-year-old Jarno Mobach, winner of this season's junior Paris-Roubaix, and cyclo-cross specialist, Joris Nieuwenhuis, who will combine both a CX-focused race program with a selection of road races.

Coach Marc Reef (NED) elaborated on the recruitment of riders for the Development Program. "In general, we track riders by screening race results, and we use select races as indicators. If riders pop up on our radar their power files will be analyzed by our scientific expert Teun [van Erp]. Once, sportive-wise, the rider has potential, one of the most important facets then is the personal fit between rider and the team, and our philosophy. We get to know the person behind the rider through a number of talks to learn about his/her ambitions, to see to what extent he/she is a team player and supports our way of working. On top of that, we use scouting tools such as our German Talent Days. Jarno [Mobach], who joined us in the German Eiffel area, is a good example of that. We've noticed him there and we proceeded the talks, resulting in a match and an agreement." 

The Development Program will be an integral part of the currently titled Team Giant-Alpecin, accessing the same experienced staff, technologies, resources and the same "Keep Challenging" philosophy - consistently working together under the very same umbrella. Riders on the Development Program will have a challenging race program, focused on development but also on gaining experience at professional level, mainly at UCI .2 races, with a few UCI .1 races included. Moreover, riders will also compete at the Nations Cup for their national federations. They will have a balanced period of racing, alternated with specific periods of training.

Team CEO Iwan Spekenbrink (NED) remains focused on the ambition of building an advanced Development Program and developing young talents into WorldTour riders. "If we want to bring Germany back where it belongs in the world of international cycling, we need to focus on the young generations of German athletes and start from the bottom up. So it's great to see our German-based Development Program taking shape now. As said before, we will adopt a broad approach and focus equally on the riders’ education, since not every talent will ultimately make it into the WorldTour. It all centers around the objective of development, first as a person and ultimately as a professional athlete. But at the very minimum we want to offer something relevant to those young men and prepare them for the next chapter in their life, whether it’s on or off the bike."

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