MTN-Qhubeka announce roster
Cape Town - Team MTN-Qhubeka announced its completed roster for 2013 as they prepare to be Africa’s first UCI Professional Continental team.
The South African outfit has made considerable additions to its team in order to compete against the world's best next year.
New signings include Vuelta a España stage winner and former Under-23 world champion, Gerald Ciolek, Giro d’Italia stage winner Ignatas Konovalovas and Sergio Pardilla.
Last week the team also revealed former German champion Martin Reimer would be joining the squad.
In line with its dream to develop an African world champion, the team has signed some of the best talent from the continent in Algeria’s Youcef Reguigui and South Africa’s Jay Thomson, Johann van Zyl and Louis Meintjes.
The full roster which includes three Eritreans, one Ethiopian and a Rwandan, will have a total of 15 African and six international riders.
“What we’re trying to do is very ambitious,” said Team Principle Douglas Ryder.
“Our goal is to compete in the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and the Tour de France by 2015. This year has proved that we can be competitive on the international stage and we’re working with our new international riders to use their experience to nurture our African riders in order to showcase our talent to the world.”
Ciolek who joins the team from Omega Pharma-Quick Step and has taken part in the Tour de France four times including placing second twice said, “I am excited about this project out of Africa. The more I heard about the team’s ethos and dream, the more I became interested. I am looking forward to winning races and using my experience to motivate the younger riders.”
The team will have its first training camp in Johannesburg early December with a media day scheduled. Racing a predominantly European calendar next year, Team MTN-Qhubeka will base itself in Lucca, Italy.Team MTN-Qhubeka 2013 roster:
Gerald Ciolek (GER)?
Ignatus Konovalovas (LTU)
?Sergio Pardilla (ESP)?Jay Thomson (RSA)?
Louis Meintjes (RSA)?
Johann van Zyl (RSA)?
Andreas Stauff (GER)?
Martin Reimer (GER)?
Youcef Reguigui (ALG)?
Kristian Sbaragli (ITA)?
Ferekalsi Debesay (ERI)
?Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)?
Adrien Niyonshuti (RWA)?
Meron Russom (ERI)?
Jani Tewelde (ERI)?Songezo Jim (RSA)
?Bradley Potgieter (RSA)
?Dennis van Niekerk (RSA)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)?
Jaco Venter (RSA)?Martin Wesemann (RSA)