Africa’s first Pro-Continental cycling team, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, is set to make history this weekend when they take part in their first Grand Tour, the 2014 La Vuelta a España, from 23 August to 14 September.
The team will comprise six African, four of which are South African, and three European riders.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung La Vuelta a Espana Lineup
Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Gerald Ciolek (GER)
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI)
Merhawi Kudus (ERI)
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)
Reserve: Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU)
Team Principal, Douglas Ryder’s passion and commitment has been instrumental in the immense progress of the team over the past two years. By combining European and African riders as team members, the experience and calibre of the European racing scene has accelerated the overall success of the team. “To have such a great team dynamic in our first Grand Tour with a strong representation from the African Continent shows how far this team has come,” he said in a recent press statement.
Cycling South Africa’s President, William Newman, extended congratulations to the team on behalf of the National Federation: “We wish Team MTN Qhubeka the very best of luck in their ground-breaking achievement of participating in their first Grand Tour. This is a stepping-stone to their future participation in the Tour de France and is great for cycling and for the country. They have the support of the whole cycling fraternity and the nation on achieving this milestone.”