Born in 2005 under the name Shimano-Memory Corp as the result of the merger of the Netherlands' Bankgiroloterij and Japan's Shimano, the originally Dutch team managed by Iwan Spekenbrink spent six years making progress with the return of tool manufacturer Skil, which had already sponsored Sean Kelly's team in the 1980s (hence the remake of a vintage jersey). However, in 2012, the support of the oil company Argos North Sea Group propelled the squad to a whole new level. It then flew the flag for the world's largest bicycle manufacturer (6 million sold every year), the aptly named Taiwanese company Giant, for several seasons. In 2016, the team moved its registration to Germany and is now sponsored by the Sunweb brand, a specialist in holidays in the sun.
Its Tour de France debut in 2009 was an emotional affair, featuring the motivation of little-known French riders who had been forgotten by the big teams (including Cyril Lemoine, third in stage 3), lion-hearted sprinter Kenny van Hummel's suffering in the mountains, and the flashes of brilliance of Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu, seventh in Aubenas and again on the attack on the Champs-Élysées, which earned him the combativity award for that stage.
Invited for the second time in 2012, Argos, still with the same Japanese co-sponsor Shimano, placed all its hopes on its young sprinter Marcel Kittel, diminished from the start by gastroenteritis. He exacted revenge big time in 2013, taking four stage wins, including the opener in Bastia, with the yellow jersey as a bonus, as well as the final and most prestigious stage on the Champs-Élysées. The German toppled Mark Cavendish from the throne with another four stages in 2014, including the opener and the closer. In 2017, the big void left by the absence of Kittel from the Tour in 2015 before his departure in 2016, and a repeat of the same story by John Degenkolb, one of the victims of a terrible collective training accident in January 2016, was filled by Australian power sprinter Michael Matthews (green jersey) and French climber Warren Barguil (polka-dot jersey) with two stage wins apiece, even though team leader Tom Dumoulin was on a break after winning the 100th Giro.
Last year, the team had a harder time dealing with the absence of Dumoulin, second in the 2018 Giro and Tour as well as the time trial world championship, which he had won in the previous year, due to injury. Wilco Kelderman, who was leading the squad in Dumoulin's place, was forced to withdraw due to back issues lingering from a fall during the spring campaign. Michael Matthews posted Team Sunweb's best result in that year's Tour as the runner-up to Julian Alaphilippe in Épernay.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories16
- Yellows Jerseys2
- Other races Won3
Stage wins: 16
- 2013: Marcel Kittel in Bastia, Saint-Malo, Tours and Paris
- 2014: Marcel Kittel in Harrogate, London, Lille and Paris
- 2015: Simon Geschke in Pra-Loup
- 2016: Tom Dumoulin in Andorra-Arcalís and La Caverne du Pont d'Arc
- 2017: Warren Barguil in Foix and on the Izoard and Michael Matthews in Rodez and Romans-sur-Isère
- 2018: Tom Dumoulin in Espelette
Secondary classification wins: 3
- 2017: Michael Matthews (points classification) and Warren Barguil (mountains classification and most combative rider)
Yellow jerseys: 2
- 2013: Marcel Kittel, one day
- 2014: Marcel Kittel, one day
A FIGURE 2:
the number of distinctive jerseys that room-mates Warren Barguil (polka-dot) and Michael Matthews (green) took home in 2017.
29 June 2013: in the unusual setting of a Grand Départ in Corsica, Marcel Kittel's tremendous class is laid bare for all to see, shortly after the organisers manage to move the Orica-GreenEDGE bus, which has got stuck under the finish line gantry.
5 July 2014: Giant–Shimano's Ji Cheng becomes the first ever Chinese cyclist to start the Tour, which he will go on to finish dead last (164th).
29 July 2018: Tom Dumoulin gets the team with which he turned pro its first podium place in the Tour de France, sandwiched between Team Sky's Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, on the day after winning a time trial in the Basque Country clad in the rainbow jersey and two months after finishing the Giro in second place as well.
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