South Africa’s first Pro-Continental cycling team has just received confirmation that they will be racing the 2016 season with a World Tour licence.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed the news earlier today, with Team Dimension Data (as they will be known next year) once again making history on the African continent.
Their press statement earlier today, said that the excitement of today’s announcement has been met with great joy among the team, partners and fans across the world.
“The realisation of this dream has only been made possible by years of hard work, strategic partnerships, incredible riders producing exceptional performances and support staff. We are delighted to rewrite the history books and place African cycling at the highest level in World Cycling. To our partners Dimension Data, Deloitte, Cervélo, Sapinda, Rotor and all the others that have believed in the future of this team thank you for your support in making this a reality. As a World Tour team we believe we will be able to mobilise more people on bicycles through the Qhubeka Charity and our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign,” the press statement said.
Team Dimension Data also announced that they would be registering a UCI Continental team in 2016 as well. “This team will be based out of our training centre in Lucca, Italy and will allow our young, up and coming African riders to race a solid European season.”
Dimension Data Team Principal, Douglas Ryder, said: “This is incredible, I am so happy for this team, our partners and all the staff and riders that have worked so hard over the years to keep building this team to push beyond the boundaries and believe that anything is possible. To get this news on our training camp in Cape Town as we are bonding with our new team for the future is simply the best motivation to move forward into 2016.”
Dimension Data CEO, Brett Dawson, said: “As the title sponsor, we’re extremely proud to be part of the team’s iconic rise from one of the five wild cards teams to ride in this year’s Tour de France to World Tour status. We look forward to accelerating our journey together and continue to play a role in developing African riders into professional cyclists who will compete in some of the world’s greatest cycling events.”
Cycling SA President, William Newman, said: “We are extremely proud of Douglas Ryder – his commitment and his perseverance in following his dream has seen the team reach great heights since 2007, which was when the team was founded.
“Not only is South African cycling making history on the continent once again, but the team’s connection with the Qhubeka Foundation and the #bicycleschangelives campaign is also a world first by giving back to mobilise communities. Congratulations Douglas! As usual we will be supporting the team all the way!”