Cape Town - Team
Dimension Data for Qhubeka has announced its final selection
of nine riders that will take on the 103rd edition of the Le Grand Boucle - the
first ever for an African World Tour team.
Three 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
fans of the 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 the team’s first ever stage at the Tour de
France on Mandela Day in 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 also being the team’s road
captain. Serge Pauwels and Norwegian Road and TT champion Edvald Boasson Hagen
will round out the line-up.
Team Dimension Data for
Qhubeka - Tour de France team:
Edvald Boasson Hagen
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
Douglas Ryder - Team
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
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.