Cape Town - Team MTN-Qhubeka has completed the signing of Spain’s Sergio Pardilla for the 2013/14 seasons. The Spaniard is best known for his climbing skills and ability to get into breakaways. He boasts a total of 11 professional wins and finished 18th on the General Classification during this year’s Giro d’Italia, finished second overall in the Tour de l'Ain and won the Mountains classification in Vuelta a Burgos.
Asked why he chose the team, Pardilla said, “Team MTN-Qhubeka is not a normal team. I mean results are important as they are in any other team but Team MTN-Qhubeka also has other goals which are supporting African riders to make cycling a more popular sport on the continent and taking part in charity projects to reduce poverty in Africa through Qhubeka.
“We sportsmen have a big responsibility. As we are competing in team events, millions of people are watching us. We must set an example. We can make the world a better place to live in. Team MTN-Qhubeka understands this. It’s not just sport, it’s something much more important. I think I can not only be a better rider in Team MTN-Qhubeka but also a better person.”
Pardilla makes the switch from Movistar and joins the African project that will be the first ever UCI Professional Continental team from the continent.
Team Principal Douglas Ryder commented, “It is fantastic to have a stage race rider and super climber like Sergio join our team. We have been looking for a rider that will be able to lead Team MTN-Qhubeka in stage races next year and into the Grand Tours in the very near future.
“At 28 years of age he is still young and has had a steady build up the last four years winning races like Tour of Japan when he was 25, third in Tour of Portugal and second in Tour of Austria when he was 26. The last two years on the Movistar Team he has ridden races like the Vuelta a Espana, Paris Nice and Giro d’Italia in which he finished 18th this year. We have some really good climbers and stage race riders from South Africa and Africa in the team to support Sergio next year to hopefully some significant performances.”
Pardilla joins a number of impressive new signings to Team MTN-Qhubeka, including Gerald Ciolek, Jay Thomson, Ignatus Konovalovas, Louis Meintjes, Johann van Zyl, Andreas Stauff, Youcef Reguigui and Kristian Sbaragli.