After naming a 13 rider long list for the Tour de France less than a week ago, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is extremely happy to announce its final selection of 9 riders that will take on the 103rd edition of the Le Grand Boucle - the first ever for an African World Tour team.
3 African riders form part of the team. Newly crowned Eritrean Road and TT champion Daniel Teklehaimanot will once again be on the start of the race. After a strong month of racing, that also saw him winning the KOM classification for a second time at the Criterium du Dauphiné, he will again try to make the fans of our African team proud. He will be joined by his fellow countryman Natnael Berhane, who will race his first Tour de France, and South African Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
Steve Cummings, who won our African team’s first ever stage at the Tour de France on Mandela Day 2015, will spearhead the rest of the line-up together with Mark Cavendish, who will seek to add a 27th stage win to his illustrious palmares. The Manx Missile will be able to count on his lieutenants Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel, with the latter one also being our team’s road captain. Serge Pauwels and Norwegian Road and TT champion Edvald Boasson Hagen will round out our 9 rider line-up for the Le Grand Boucle.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka - Tour de France team
Natnael Berhane [Link];
Edvald Boasson Hagen [Link];
Mark Cavendish [Link];
Steve Cummings [Link];
Bernhard Eisel [Link];
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg [Link];
Serge Pauwels [Link];
Mark Renshaw [Link];
Daniel Teklehaimanot [Link];
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will race to raise funds towards the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign and is proud to invite fans and partners alike to join through the Qhubeka 5000 challenge during the Tour de France. The Qhubeka 5000 is an international 48-hour interactive fundraising initiative by our African team with the aim to get supporters around the world to take part and make an impact that matters in Africa. Find out how you can join this challenge at qhubeka5000.org.
Douglas Ryder - Team Principal
This was a really tough decision to make as all of the riders on the squad have stepped up and shown their potential to be in the Tour de France. We are one team with a single purpose to mobilise people on bikes in Africa so that they can realise their full potential. Through the bicycle distribution ceremonies we hope to uncover more cycling talent on the continent. This is a fantastic team of experienced riders we are hoping can deliver on our performance goals of winning stages, being competitive and visible every day, to raise our profile to even greater heights in the incredibly demanding stages of the 2016 Tour de France.
Rolf Aldag - Head of Performance
We have picked a very balanced team to be competitive and to represent the Qhubeka charity on every single stage the Tour de France offers this year. The first few days will be dominated by the sprinters and we are confident to be right up there with Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen and the committed lead out around Mark Renshaw and Reinhard Janse van Rensburg. Serge Pauwels,Daniel Teklehaimanot and Steve Cummings proved in the past that they can be very successful from breakaways and that is what we try to repeat. Bernhard Eisel will serve as a road captain, while Natnael Berhane will learn a lot in his first Tour as well as he will get his own chance on selective stages.
Adam Foster - Group Executive, Sports Practice, Dimension Data
Last year, the team was the first African team to participate in the Tour de France. This year Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is the first African World Tour team to participate in the Tour de France. Dimension Data is extremely proud to be Title Partner of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, and excited by the rider line-up selected by the team management. We’re looking forward to working with Team Dimension Data and Qhubeka during Le Tour to help raise funds for its #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, and put 5.000 African learners on bikes.
Antoine Ballon, Global Marketing Director Cervélo
As thrilled as we were to be part of last year's historical first participation of an African team at the Tour de France, seeing this Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka squad ready to push our Cervélo bikes to new heights is very exciting for us. The team stormed the 2015 Tour de France and we can't wait to see what they achieve on the world's fastest bikes this year. We look forward to support them in their efforts.