Eritreans Natnael Berhane and Merhawi Kudus, as well as South Africa’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Nic Dougall have inked deals with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka that will see them representing Africa’s team beyond 2016.
The 22-year old Merhawi Kudus, who is at the moment racing in Spain, has already shown glimpses of his talent during the first week of La Vuelta.
It is the fourth Grand Tour of his young career, that has seen finishing all three of them in the last three years.
“I would like to win a stage at a Grand Tour in the future. I feel that these are the races that suit me well and it’s great to be able to develop myself as rider in an African team. This team is rewriting the history for African cycling and it’s great to a part of it”, said Kudus.
Natnael Berhane is another Eritrean who can take things to a whole new level for African cycling in the next seasons.
The former Eritrean champion was the first African to win a stage race in Europe in 2013, the Presidential Tour of Turkey, and has since steadily progressed in his development. He was a key support rider during this years mountain stages of the Tour de France, after riding actively in a couple of stage races prior to the Grand Boucle, where he was the designated team leader.
After coming back to the team last year, South African Janse van Rensburg has confirmed his talent by winning the overall of the Tour de Langkawi, Asia’s most iconic stage race, in March 2016. The 27-year-old was also a key member of our Tour de France squads in 2015 and 2016, where he has been a vital support rider for our African team. Besides that he has shown his strength at the classics.
Fellow South African Nic Dougall also underlined his talent in the first part of the season. At just 23 years of age he has shown his potential at the cobbled races where he was playing an important role.
“I’m really happy to be riding for an African team. It means a lot to me as we do not only help to raise the bar for African cycling but also help to put people on bikes through Qhubeka. I’m very much looking forward to further develop as a classics rider as these are the races that I really enjoy“, says Dougall, who’s currently racing his first Grand Tour at La Vuelta.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principle
We built this team to showcase and support the best talent on the African Continent and I am really happy to see the commitment, dedication and loyalty these riders have shown in their future development with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and also in the team’s purpose of mobilising people on bikes. The coming seasons will be breakthrough years for these riders so hold onto your seats big things are coming.
Rolf Aldag – Head of Performance
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka grew really fast over the last years to become one of the leading teams in the Peloton. The message this team sends out to the world is unique and so are the people on this team. We are happy to extend the agreements with Merhawi, Natnael, Reinardt and Nic to help them building on their carriers and have them on board to secure our future success.