Cape Town - Team MTN-Qhubeka has announced the addition of two new
riders to boost its core line-up. They are Nathan Haas and Omar Fraile.
Norwegian national road
race champion Edvald Boasson Hagen will remain with the South African team, as
will Steve Cummings, Tyler Farrar, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Reinardt Janse
van Rensburg, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, and Serge Pauwels. The eight
have been part of the successful Tour de France team in July. They will be
joined by the likes of La Vuelta stage winner Kristian Sbaragli and Eritrean
national road race champion Natnael Berhane among others.
On Tuesday the team confirmed the signing of star sprinter Mark Cavendish, as well as Mark Renshaw and Bernhard Eisel.
According to a press release issued by the team, Australian Nathan Haas
was the first new rider to sign a contract for the South
African-registered team. Over the last four years the 26-year-old has
been riding for Cannondale-Garmin, with two wins at the iconic Japan Cup
being his major results. He also showed strong performances in shorter
Spaniard Omar Fraile makes the move from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. He
comes off a strong season that saw him taking wins at the 4 Jours de
Dunkerque and the Giro dell’Appennino. He also managed to climb onto the
final podium of the Vuelta a Espana in Madrid as winner of the King of
the Mountain classification.
Nathan Haas is excited to be on the team. He said, “I feel it on the
most inherent level represents the true global and worldwide reach that
professional cycling is moving in. Not only does the team compete at the
highest level of the sport, it translates our love of sport across all
aspects of cycling, weighing equal importance on the bike as a necessity
of transport, environment, and sport.
“The team has shown to be a team that races - and truly races, not rides - at every event they participate in, and they do so with their hearts
and pride on their sleeves. I’m proud of the opportunity to get to be a
part of this team, and hopefully create opportunities for my team-mates
and myself that further demonstrate that racing from the hearts can win
the hearts of the world.”
He added, “And to be back with Tyler (Farrar), what can I say, he’s one of my
best friends in the sport and I’ve missed racing with him. So to be back
together is just huge! He’s a great captain and morale booster for any
team, so we are all lucky to be riding with him.”
Omar Fraile is also raring to go. “I am very excited to get the chance
to ride for such a well-established and international team. I have had a
great year and I only can thank my current team, Yet, for my
development as a rider I feel like it’s time to move on. This team will
help me stepping up.
“I will do my best to live up to the team’s expectations. It would be
great to get some good results in stage races and, on the personal side,
I want to achieve good results in stage races and help to put more
children in rural areas in Africa on bikes through my performances,” he
Brian Smith, the team’s general manager, summed up the team’s feelings
about the new riders, saying, “Nathan is just the type of rider this
team is all about; great personality and willing to race aggressively. I
think his style of racing will compliment another couple of our team
riders and elevate them to more success together.
“Having met Omar in Andorra during La Vuelta, I could see a young,
talented rider with a great passion to succeed. We look forward to
developing his talent even further and look forward to integrating Omar
into our climbing group.”