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Giant-Alpecin books Sunweb partnership

European online holiday tour operator Sunweb has sealed a partnership with UCI WorldTour cycling team Giant-Alpecin.

The three-year deal will begin in 2017, with Sunweb becoming main sponsor of the German-registered team and granted first name partnership rights.

The deal covers naming rights for the team, although it has been reported that German hair product manufacturer Alpecin is likely to retain its rights as a co-naming sponsor after it secured a four-year agreement in 2015.

Bicycle manufacturer Giant will no longer be a lead sponsor of the team, but the company could retain rights as a supplier beyond the end of this year.

Through Sunweb’s backing, the team will also start a “world-class development program” from a base in Germany, to build the next generation of stars.

Gert De Caluwe, chief executive of Sunweb, said: “We see this partnership as a natural fit. For 25 years is has been in our DNA to take care of millions of travellers. Our aim is to fulfil this caretaker role also for this team and the whole cycling community.

“We will be able to connect with a new audience of passionate cycling fans, especially in our growth countries. We will use the power of this team to roll out Sunweb’s strategy for future growth across Europe with a special focus on Germany, the country with the biggest outbound travel market in Europe.”