RIDE Media spoke to Tom Davies from Giant Bicycles while at the Tour Down Under of 2024. It was early days in a partnership that began in 2023 but the bike brand is happy to be a sponsor and equipment supplier for the Australian WorldTour teams.

Watch the video below to see a gallery of the new-season bikes, as well as an interview with Tom Davies about Giant and Liv’s links with the Jayco AlUla teams…


– Interview, photos and video by Rob Arnold




Finding finance and a good fit from a team sponsor in cycling isn’t a simple task but Gerry Ryan’s commitment to the sport and his reputation as a trustworthy businessman helped lure the Giant and Liv brands to back Australia’s WorldTour teams. This is the second year that Giant and Liv bikes have been ridden by riders from the ‘GreenEdge’ teams – men and women, respectively.

In 2024, the teams’ association with the world’s biggest bike company has increased and now includes naming-rights for the women’s line-up, Liv Jayco AlUla.

Tom Davies is the sports marketing manager for the Giant group and he explained that he “did the deal in five minutes” during a brief discussion with Gerry Ryan a few years ago. It doesn’t come cheaply and although Davies was reluctant to put a sum on the investment from Giant and Liv (and the component brand Cadex), he admits it’s worth “many millions” of dollars.

“It’s an investment for a bike brand that you don’t take lightly,” says Davies about the commitment made by the Taiwanese company. But, he adds: “You get a lot back if it’s successful.”

The opening days of the 2024 season yielded numerous victories when the teams were dominant at the Australian championships early in January. It meant a quick visit to the paint shop to revised the Propel bikes that were raced by Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Luke Plapp when they next lined up for competition at the Tour Down Under in South Australia.

Although the teams didn’t win a stage of either the women’s or men’s races, Davies is already convinced that a slightly revised approach to sponsorship spend – which now incorporates the WorldTour teams and development teams – is a successful formula.

“I can see already, in just the first couple of weeks, it just has a stronger message,” explains Davies about the increased involvement from both Giant and Liv. “And Gerry offered that I could have the naming-rights – which was important for Liv – so we took it.”


Below is a transcript of RIDE Media’s interview with Tom Davies, sports marketing manager of Giant Bicycles. (Note: it has been edited for clarity.)



RIDE Media: I introduced Giant as the “largest bike company in the world”. Is that a fair appraisal?

Tom Davies (Giant’s sports marketing director): “Yes. As a bike brand the Giant group – in revenue – is the world leader, and it’s also the biggest manufacturer of bicycles, OEM plus our own brands. So, yes it is the correct description.”


RIDE Media: Given the predicament of the times I wonder if we can get a quick overview of the bike market. It seems to be quite confused at the moment. Where do you see it?

Tom Davies: “Certainly in the last year – and currently – the market in itself is struggling a little bit. The sales have gone down but it’s all a bit relative because the last previous two years, the COVID years were record years for ourselves and many other companies. So, now we are probably just at pre-COVID levels so it’s not like it’s terrible at all but there are some challenges.

“There’s overstock in the in the market and what’s unique is that it’s really affecting everybody, all the brands and the supply chain – I mean Shimano, SRAM as well – so we’re all in it together but I think we’ll come through strong. It will probably take at least another six months and then I think by the [northern] summer we hope to see some improvements.”


RIDE Media: When you come to the Tour Down Under you get to see some of what makes [cycling] beautiful. It brings people together and it’s certainly an event which has attracted a good demographic; there’s a lot of money being spent on bikes. Does it give you hope when you come to something like this?

Tom Davies: “Definitely. I mean Australia is a very… ah, let’s call it a ‘mature market’ in terms of performance cycling.

“When I first came here, in about 2008, I remember getting up early with jetlag – it was like 6.00 in the morning – and when I went for a coffee [I saw] about 200 guys of all shapes and sizes having coffee, ready to go cycling…

“What struck me was how every bike was top-of-the-line… and it has even grown and grown, especially with females. So, definitely when you come here it’s true. The weather is nice, and there are a lot of people on bicycles – all quality bicycles.”


RIDE Media: How important is the high-end when it comes to considering the low-end?

Tom Davies: “For [Giant] the WorldTour – professional cycling – is the shop window. If you’re not there people don’t know you anywhere near as much. You need to be in [the pro peloton].

“Like now, this week, our bikes are on TV and then it filters down to all other levels.

“Sponsoring a top team that is visible and inspiring is critical. I mean is important in my role to choose a team and it’s not about just winning but it’s how they perform in the race and how they get noticed.

“The social media aspect of it is very important but definitely you need to be on TV. That is why it’s super important. From that you filter down to the other types of bicycles.


RIDE Media: Could you give me an appraisal of Gerry Ryan? What appeals to you about working with him and his teams?

Tom Davies: “I’ve now known Gerry personally for only two years. Before that, of course, I knew about Gerry, it’s my job to know. I’ve been in this role for 20 years and I was actually at the Tour Down Under when GreenEdge first started and my colleagues at Giant Australia have worked with him in the past.

“Just straight up, I met Gerry two and a half years ago in on a Zoom call during call in Ljubljana, Slovenia and we did the [sponsorship] deal in five minutes. We mainly talked about rugby to start with.

“But Gerry is a great guy because he’s a great motivator. He does it quietly. He’s not flashy. He speaks firmly. He knows what he wants and I love working with him because he really is one of these guys that backs up what he says. He wants to help people and he’s done it.

“I think Australian cycling owes a great debt to Gerry.

“What I’ve been impressed about with Gerry is hearing stories like in the COVID times he stuck with the guys, he helped out when others were pulling away. My team [at the start of the pandemic, CCC] pulled out during COVID [and] that was how I got the opportunity to go to Gerry and I believe we work well together

“I like the laidback attitude – the relaxed attitude – of Australians and it goes well with us.”


RIDE Media: I’ve got Chris Haper’s bike just here so we can look at it and, if I can be so bold, it’s a complete contrast to what we saw with CCC with the black [aesthetic]. Talk to me about the new-season colours…

Tom Davies: “If you want to play safe you do the Henry Ford method: ‘You can have any colour you want, as long as it’s black’.

“Black or white is always safe but that’s the key word: it’s ‘safe’. No one will hate a black bike; no one will love a black bike normally. So, we decided in the off-season: ‘Let’s spice it up…’ and it was between the three of us – you know Gerry and Jayco and ourselves [Giant / Liv] and AlUla… as AlUla has become more influential.

“It’s a desert area. It’s a stunning place with colours that you have to see to believe. The colours of the rocks… so, we started working with colours; sand colours, the ocean, and then let the designers off the leash.

“I think there will be some people that will say, ‘Well, that’s way too many colours…’ but we like it. We’re happy with it. Ah, you know: we’re going to be seen. It’s a good way to start the season, like: ‘Okay, here we are!’

“You’re going to notice us now. You can’t hide with these colours.”


RIDE Media: Now that Liv has taken on a naming rights role, is Giant increasing its spend? Would it be fair to say?

Tom Davies: “Yes, it’s fair to say that. I mean the women’s scene is super important to us and I had two WorldTour teams last year and there was a moment when we had to reconsider. Giant – or Liv was spending a lot on the Liv only team, Gerry was spending a lot… and neither of us were really getting the results we wanted so we sat down and talked about it and came out with the idea of merging the teams and creating a development pathway which is now all under one umbrella and one look.

“I can see already, in just the first couple of weeks, it just has a stronger message. And Gerry offered that I could have the naming-rights – which was important for Liv – so we took it.”


RIDE Media: Can you give a number, an overview of what kind of investment it is?

Tom Davies: “No, I’m not at liberty to do it, but if you take the equipment and all that, it’s many millions.

“I mean, it’s an investment for a bike brand that you don’t take lightly.

“You get a lot back if it’s successful, but it puts pressure on ourselves as well that we need to make it work because, to be honest, the Giant group puts a lot of faith in me finding the right teams and there is a lot of money involved and so I have to take responsibility.”


RIDE Media: Do you want to give a quick overview of the link between Cadex – which is quite prominent on the team bikes? This is the in-house component brand [for Giant], I think everyone understands that. Is there a real push, or is it going to end up becoming ‘Giant’ branded?

Tom Davies: “No, it’s definitely a push to be independent. That why we started it and it’s what we want.

“It has been hugely successful in the triathlon scene, where we have a lot of high-end bikes [in competition] like other top brands, and it’s also a goal in the WorldTour, [to create] a standalone brand.”


RIDE Media: As the marketing manager, do get a lot of insight into the R&D? Do you know what’s coming up…?

Tom Davies: “Yes. But when I say I’m involved I’m no engineer or anything, but obviously I’m the link between the riders and the team – and we are always involved with the new bikes, the next generation: [Harper’s team bike] is the aero bike, the Propel [and] the TCR has been there since … well, it’s coming up for 25 years. So, I’m involved in the sense of, I’m the link, so I know what’s going on.


RIDE Media: I started my company in 1998 and at that time it was the Mike Burrows design. The TCR – Total Compact Road. I still remember what it was all about, and it was a revolution. It was meant to be – more or less – a one size fits all… [and] it really did change the way bikes look.

Tom Davies: “Definitely.”


RIDE Media: It’s quite ironic that you now have a top tube [on the Propel] that’s parallel to the ground.

Tom Davies: “Yes, but the TCR still has a sloping top tube, so the TCR keeps to its heritage. We’ve added another top end bike. But, indeed, the TCR changed everything at the time and it’s still a leader, so we are very proud of the bike. And there’s a new one coming soon.”


– Interview, photos and video by Rob Arnold