Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are delighted to announce that Alex Sans Vega and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx have joined the team, both taking on roles as Sports Directors. Sans Vega and Heynderickx will join up with existing sports directors, Jens Zemke and Michel Cornelisse to direct the African Pro-Continental team throughout the 2015 cycling season.
Sans Vega comes with a wealth of experience after working for squads like Team CSC, Cervelo Test Team and NetApp Endura in the past. Sans Vega has also directed teams at more than 20 grand tours in his career as a sports director and will be invaluable to Team MTN-Qhubeka.
Heynderickx is an ex-professional bike rider, most well-known for his stage victory in the 1989 Vuelta a Espana. Heynderickx also took to the start of the Tour de France on 2 occasions during his career as a rider. The Belgian then started his career as Sports Director back in 1999 and now joins Team MTN-Qhubeka, coming from the World Tour outfit Lotto-Belisol.
With Douglas Ryder reverting to his role as Team Principal, interim manager Brian Smith will continue as the team's General Manager.
Coming to the MTN-Qhubeka team is a big pleasure and I am extremely delighted as I see it as one of the biggest and nicest projects in world cycling at the moment. Helping Africa to use the bike as its daily transport and helping young African bike riders to develop their talents into becoming some of the best racers in the world is an unique opportunity that gives me high motivation for the coming season.
Plus, joining the team is a way to return to work with a group of people that I know very well from the past and we have the same clear goals. The new team manager Brian Smith from Endura Racing Team, Jens Zemke from Cervelo Test Team and even some of the riders like Theo Bos, Serge Pauwels (Cervelo Test Team), Matthew Goss (CSC) and even Boasson Hagen from the Norwegian National Team I have worked with all before.
We all will give our best to bring this team to the top of best cycling and can't wait to start the new season.
Sports Director - Alex Sans Vega
I am happy to be joining Team MTN-Qhubeka next year. I have known Zemke and Cornelisse for a long time already and we have always had a good understanding so i am looking forward to working with them. The team has a good mix of experience and young talented riders. We will be able to ride well and gain the relevant exposure for Qhubeka over the course of the entire season.
Sports Director - Jean-Pierre Heynderickx
I am now going into my 4th year with MTN-Qhubeka and we are continually making history by bringing Africa as a new continent to the biggest cycling events in the world. I love being part of this team and seeing how the guys are stepping up from year to year.
Sports Director - Jens Zemke
I am very happy to be a part of this great team and to help promote Qhubeka. I was surprised by the will and motivation of the riders from Africa this past season. To be a pro rider in Europe and give up a lot to follow their dream is an inspiration. With my experience and their will to train hard and fight we can bring success next year. As a team we have taken a big step by adding more world class riders and management who will motivate everybody to make 2015 a success. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in this worthwhile project.
Sports Director - Michel Cornelisse
I am really enthusiastic about working on this project especially with many of the existing team members. We have added to the teams core talent to strengthen the team moving forward. I believe we are very unique in the Cycling World where we are supporting a greater cause in Qhubeka. Raising awareness for Qhubeka by performing well in many of the worlds top races including the Tour de France will change lives in Africa. This extra motivation will no doubt pull the team together to perform well on the world stage. I am really looking forward to engaging with all of the teams partners and fans in making this team proud to be a part of.
General Manager - Brian Smith