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  1. The nominees were announced by the organisers of the Tropicala Amissa Bongo as they have always been, since the event initiated the award back in 2012. The African Cyclist of the Year will be voted for by managers, coaches, officials, African and European cycling journalists and the jury will once again be chaired by Bernard Hinault, the 5 time Tour de France Champion. Natnael Berhane who was the inaugural recipient of the award back in 2012 is once again up for nomination. As is our 2013 winner, Louis Meintjes. Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Youcef Reguigui and Jacques Janse van Rensburg were also included in the 20 rider nominee list for 2015. Winner announced on 17 December.
  2. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are happy to have 6 riders nominated for the African Cyclist of the Year Trophy. Click here to view the article
  3. The goal of the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign is to raise funds for 5 000 bicycles for people in rural Africa, where lack of mobility often holds people back from accessing opportunity. Team MTN Qhubeka p/b Samsung has raised over 4 500 bicycles in 2015 to date, and is seeking to hit the goal of 5 000 before the end of the year. You can help them to achieve that goal by supporting the Bicycles Change Lives Ride-a-thon. Here’s how: The goal is to help MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung ride the distance from Cape Town to Cairo and turn those kilometres into bicycles for people in Africa. Your donation will provide bicycles to people, giving them the tools to make their own path in life. Step 1: Register on the Bicycles Change Lives website Step 2: Pledge your donation (Suggested donation: A minimum of 1 unit of your currency applies, i.e. South Africans will need to pledge from R1 minimum per kilometre) Step 3: Follow Bicycles Change Lives on Strava. (On the Strava app, search for “Bicycles Change Lives” and click the “Follow/Friend’ button. This will be used to track how many kilometres you have cycled.) Starting at 2pm on 28 November to 2pm on 29 November, cycle up a storm wherever you are and Make It Count with Bicycles Change Lives and Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. The idea behind #BicyclesChangeLives “At MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, we believe that bicycles change lives. Every person on this team has had that experience personally,” says Team Principal Doug Ryder. “That’s why we’re working to give talented African riders a path to the pro peloton while mobilising students in Africa with bicycles through Qhubeka, which is World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa. We’re asking our supporters to join us in cycling as many kilometres as possible and committing to donating towards funding bicycles for #BicyclesChangeLives. Whether you can ride five kilometres, 50 or 500, we’d love to have you with us!” “Bicycles are a cost efficient and effective way of addressing one of Africa’s great challenges – mobility,” says Sarah Phaweni, Qhubeka Executive Director. “A bicycle can change that, and we are excited to partner with Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung and cycling fans around the world to fund bicycles for people whose lives can be changed with a bicycle. We’re looking forward to tracking the kilometres during the Ride-a-thon and seeing what our amazing supporters are capable of.” For more information, visit www.bicycleschangelives.org.
  4. The Eritrean, who triumphed in the individual time-trial at last month’s continental tournament, sprinted to the classic win on the Hartbeeshoek road in a time of 2:27:27. Meron Teshome celebrates his farewell victory for the MTN-Qhubeka feeder team at the Bestmed Satellite Classic, presented by ASG, on Saturday. Photo: Jetline Action Photo The finish line was awash with the feeder team’s familiar black-and-white kit as Teshome’s teammates stormed in on his wheel to complete their dominating performance in the 106km road race. Jayde Julius and Metkel Eyob took second and third respectively, with Tesfom Okubamariam, Stefan de Bod and Gustav Basson continuing the clean sweep of the top six in a shared time of 2:27:28. It was Teshome’s last race on South African soil before relocating to Germany, where he has signed with UCI Continental team Bike Aid for the 2016 season. In the interim, he will rejoin his national team for the Tour of Rwanda. The 23-year-old said the victory had been a bittersweet parting gift from his team. “It is a good ending to my two years here. It is difficult leaving because we are not like other teams, we are like family.” The racing started ideally in cool and overcast conditions, as Teshome attempted an early getaway but he was soon caught by the chasing peloton after 13km. His whole team surged again around the 20km mark, with only Pieter Seyffert (Altech-Autopage) and Calvin Beneke (Luso South Africa) able to respond. By the time Teshome captured the sprint prime at 43km, the eight-rider selection had extended their lead to more than three minutes over the chasing peloton. With 40km to go, Basson launched a solo attack and his teammates managed to shake off Seyffert and Beneke en route to reeling him in five kilometres later. The Potchefstroom-based outfit kept a steady pace as they approached the massive Hekpoort ascent, where Eritrean climber Okubamariam showed his colours at the king of the mountains hot spot. They kept it rolling in the closing 20km to usher in their champ for an uncontested victory at the Saloon Route 66 race venue. In the women’s race, Ethiopian development rider Hadnet Kidane (WCCA) outsprinted runner-up Carla Oberholzer (Clover SA), and teammate and fellow countrywoman Tsega Gebre for a photo finish in 3:00:06.
  5. Africa Games gold medallist Meron Teshome said farewell to his MTN-Qhubeka teammates in fine style when he raced to victory in the Bestmed Satellite Classic, presented by ASG, near Hartbeespoort Dam on Saturday. Click here to view the article
  6. Cameron Meyer will join our South African registered team after having spent the past 4 seasons with the Australian Orica-Greenedge outfit. Meyer, at still only 27 years of age, is a talented time trial rider who has also proven himself on shorter climbs. Testament to Meyers abilities are his overall victories of the Santos Tour Down Under as well as the Herald Sun Tour. As a double Australian Time Trial champion, Meyer was also instrumental in two Grand Tour team trial stage victories. And with already 8 Grand Tours under his belt, Meyer’s experience and tremendous depth will only allow our African Team to reach greater heights on the sporting front as well as in further extending the reach we have for Qhubeka. Meyer is the 6th new addition to our African Team. We look forward to announce the signing of another African talent as our final addition to the 2016 roster. Cameron Meyer – Rider I am very excited to be racing with Team Dimension Data next season. They have had unbelievable results at the biggest races and are moving ahead quickly. I am really looking forward to being a part of their future success. My main motivation for joining this professional racing team was not only the pride I would feel being an ambassador on the bike but also the pride of involvement in the successful work for the Qhubeka Charity.
  7. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung, who will race as Team Dimension Data from next year onward, are delighted to announce that Cameron Meyer has signed for Africa’s Team. Click here to view the article
  8. Kanstanstin is one of the real powerhouses of the professional peloton and he joins our team after spending the past 4 seasons racing for Team Sky. The Belorussian comes with a wealth of experience, having raced 14 grand tours already with a 9th place overall at the 2011 Giro d’ Italia to his credit. Kanstanstin is an experienced head who will serve as a mentor to our younger riders while also taking on the role as a super domestique for our protected riders. Kanstanstin’s ability to ride on the front of the peloton for kilometers on end will be an invaluable asset to our team in the coming season. We look forward to finalising our 2016 roster in the coming days as the team also sharpens its focus on the further development of African talents. I’m really happy to join Team Dimension Data in 2016. Having raced with some of the riders in the past, I’m sure we’ll gel well together. I’m also looking forward to share my experience with the African talents on board and to make an impact for the Qhubeka charity. It’s a great opportunity to race for a bigger cause and I’m glad to take it on. Kanstanstin Siutsou – Rider
  9. With planning for the 2016 season already well underway, we are ecstatic in announcing Kanstanstin Siutsou as the latest addition to our African team, set to race as Team Dimension Data next year. Click here to view the article
  10. Paris-Tours would be a frighteningly fast race as riders averaged 49.6km/h for the 231km route. The defining moment of the race came as early as the opening 20 kilometers when 30 riders got clear after a crash in the peloton. We had Nic Dougall make the front selection as the peloton scrambled to try and bring back the lead group. The big lead group was able to open a decent 4 minute gap though and the peloton were feeling the pressure. Eventually 18 riders put in a counter attack and tried to bridge to the lead group, our African team had Johann van Zyl in the counter. Nic started to feel the effects of covering the first 100km in less than 2 hours and dropped from the lead group, later assisting Johann with some pace making. Johann's group were only able to come within 2 minutes of the leaders before they upped the pace and started attacking one another with 40km to go. The increase in tempo was enough to ensure that one of the early leaders would take the spoils. I think I took 5 years off my life expectancy today. It was really fast for the first 2 hours in the break of 30. I think I did a bit too much work early on and when it really started getting hard I was in a lot of difficulty. A few of us dropped and got caught by Johann's group. I tried to help him as much as I could because he was riding well. I imploded at 190km and was completely empty. It was good to try something today but unfortunately the legs weren't really there to get a good result. Nic Dougall - Rider Today was so fast and really windy. From the start the peloton was split into pieces with groups everywhere. Nic was attentive and made the front split of 30. This was still not the greatest situation for us with only 1 of our riders up the road. I stayed alert and eventually went in an 18 rider group. We never got the gap under 2 minutes so we were racing for 25th place. I got caught behind a small crash from an IAM rider and lost the wheel of Terpstra. Not having that much power left, I lost connection with them so eventually finished 39th. I think we could have done a lot better today. I'm happy to end the season now with lots of great memories and races. Now to put the legs up and start thinking about 2016. Johann van Zyl - Rider
  11. The 3rd and Queen stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour saw Esteban Chaves (Orica-Greenedge) take the stage win as well as the leaders jersey. Fabio Aru (Astana) was 2nd and Wout Poels (Team Sky) finished in 3rd place. Click here to view the article
  12. Although today was only 140km in length, it would be one of the more difficult races to deal with this season as the centigrade reached a crazy 50 degrees at one point. With the temperature soaring, the race went on with the peloton heading toward a showdown on the final 11km climb to Jebel Hafeet. There was an early break of 2 riders but it was never going to last, they were fried by the time the peloton reached the final climb. Our African Team were looking to Daniel Teklehaimanot and Songezo Jim to put in strong rides on the final ascent and it was the young South African who impressed. While Songezo was never expected to challenge for the win, it was encouraging to see the former white jersey wearer hanging tough with the best climbers for so long. Songezo would go on to finish in 21st position, a promising result on a scorcher of a day. It was super-hot today once again. The bunch came together for the final climb and we were protecting Daniel and Songezo to this point. On the final climb Songezo had good legs and he finished around 20th which is a super performance for him. Daniel didn't have the legs today and sat up pretty early so we were pushing full gas for Songezo. He gave everything he had to finish in 21st. Tomorrow is the last stage and the final race for this group of guys this year, and in general it’s the final day of racing for our team too so we look forward to making one last result tomorrow. Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
  13. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was put on display for the majority of the day by Merhawi Kudus, as he and Jef van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) formed the 2 rider break of the day. Riding at a maximum of 4 minutes ahead of the peloton, Merhawi was able to get the better of the Belgian at all the intermediate sprints and GPM's to win both those classifications today. The two man escape was not going to survive the chase from the peloton though and they were caught with 60km to go. The final local circuit contained a climb that would be raced at full gas on each occasion, as expected, and the peloton became drastically thinned out. Our man for day, Kristian Sbaragli, was strong enough to be a part of the final selection but a long season had taken its toll on the Italian and he was not able to feature in the sprint finish today. Natnael Berhane was our highest placed finisher in 17th with Kristian in 19th. Nevertheless it was still a good end to the season for our boys in Italy with Merhawi making two trips to the podium. For our last race we wanted to be part of the race. We had Merhawi in the break along with a Topsport rider. They were in the move from kilometre 20 and got caught with 60km to go. Merhawi was able to win both the sprint and GPM competitions out there today which was good. Coming into the final there was a bunch sprint of approximately 40 riders. The plan was to help Kristian in the final but he didn't have the legs today and got stuck on the last corner. Alex Sans Vega - Sport Director
  14. It would be 20 laps of the famous Formula 1 track for the peloton today, totaling to a short 110km final stage. The track provided for a spectacular backdrop to the season finale particularly as the stage was held in the evening under lights. The early break of 3 riders enjoyed some TV time but the stage was always going to see a sprint finish down the final straight. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Andy Stauff mixing it up through the final few chicanes and would go on to finish in 15th position at the line. The overall race victory went to the Colombian from Orica-Greenedge, Esteban Chaves, as he finished safely in the peloton. Today was the last stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour and Andy Stauff was our best placed rider, finishing in the top 15. So finally after a long and very successful season, our last race weekend has concluded. Unfortunately we did not have the power left to make a big impact like we had hoped this weekend. Our most motivated rider for the race, Youcef Reguigui also couldn't start the event which didn't help our cause but we did what we could. Songezo spent a day in the best young rider jersey, he climbed well on the races GC stage too and Andy was twice finishing in the prize money positions. We have enjoyed our time at this first Abu Dhabi Tour, thanks largely to our fans that were here at the race. Once again we easily had the largest crowd of fans supporting us from the roadside and they, like all our other fans this year, were just amazing. Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
  15. The 2nd stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour came down to another expected bunch sprint with Elia Viviani (Team Sky) taking the spoils. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) was 2nd and Fabio Sabatini (Etixx-Quickstep) was 3rd. Click here to view the article
  16. For MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung it wouldn't be the best of days as our ace sprint card, Theo Bos crashed out of the tour halfway through today's stage. Theo crashed heavily on his left side during a crash which also took Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) out of the race. Songezo Jim, racing in the white best young rider jersey also hit the tarmac in the same accident but was fortunately able to carry on, albeit battered and bruised. With Theo out of the equation and a sure drag race to the line today, our African team's plan B was then also extinguished when Matt Goss punctured during the finale of the stage. So unfortunately our boys had to sit this one out and just kept an eye on tomorrows GC stage. With Daniel Teklehaimanot having not lost any time on the main GC rivals and Songezo now in 11th place overall, our African team will be looking to make the most of our opportunity on the way to Jebel Hafeet tomorrow. We had two riders crash at half distance today. Songezo, in the best young rider jersey, and Theo both went down. Songezo could continue and he finished with the bunch but for Theo the race was over. He had deep wounds that needed treatment straight away. For the finale we had some misfortune with our other sprinter Matt Goss puncturing just before the sprint. Andy Stauff was feeling dizzy during the last kilometres so no result today. Hopefully tomorrow, with the hard circuit and finishing climb we will have Daniel going for a good GC result. Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
  17. The Giro dell Emillia, our penultimate Italian race of the season saw Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale) take the win ahead of his late breakaway mates, Andrea Fedi (Southeast) and Angel Madrazo (Caja-Rural). Our Merhawi Kudus would finish in 10th place. Click here to view the article
  18. Today the riders would get the racing underway in the pouring rain and it would not ease up all that much throughout the day. After a fast start, it was difficult for the break of the day to form. It took just over 60km of racing before two riders managed to jump clear of the pack. Jean Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Seche) and Marco Frapporti (Androni) were the two riders who managed to ride 4 minutes ahead of the peloton. With the unrelenting rain and a tough climbers course to contend with, the leading duo would take a battering out there. After a consistent pace was set by a couple of teams in the peleton, the race came all back together with 46km to go. It would now be the 5 ascents up to San Luca that would decide the stage. 3 riders would go clear on the circuit but it was Bakelants who rode across and then passed the 3, with 20km to go that would be the strongest. Behind the peloton broke into pieces as the favourites pushed the pace. Merhawi Kudus was right in the thick of things, always sitting in the front of the main pack. Bakelants would not be caught though and Merhawi would eventually come home with 10th place on the day, a solid result this late in the year for the young Eritrean. Today was a difficult race because of the weather and the really fast start. We did 50km in the first hour today. When the break went away it was easier but on the climb it was getting harder again. In the circuit we were full gas and I just tried to stay in a good place. The team were really good today again and helped me a lot. My legs were okay and I could stay with the front guys but it was not possible to catch the break and go for a win. I am happy to finish my season with this result of 10th place. Merhawi Kudus - Rider It was a tough day out there today. It was raining and cold right from the start. There many attacks in the beginning but only around 60km did 2 riders make the break. The hardest part of the day was the final 40km, on a very difficult local circuit. Our climbers tried their best with Merhawi ending with a top 10 position. This is a nice achievement in such a difficult race. Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
  19. The opening stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour will be remembered as much for the excessive heat as it will be for who the day’s victor was, Andrea Guardini (Astana). Tom Boonen (Etixx-Quickstep) placed 2nd in the mass bunch sprint with Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) in 3rd. Click here to view the article
  20. While the route was pretty much much pan flat, it was mother nature who would provide the stern test to the riders today with temperatures hitting the upper 40’s centigrade. So severe was the heat that organisers decided to shorten the stage by around 15km. Songezo Jim would brave the heat of the desert roads for our African team and jumped into the early break of the day. Songezo was joined by 5 other riders and they would push on to a 5 minute lead over the peloton. One by one though, and with still a number of kilometers before the finish, the breakaway riders burnt out under the Arabian sun. Songezo was one of the last 3 surviving escapees before he too had to return to the shelter of the peloton. Songezo would win a bonus second out on the course though which would be enough to later see the South African pull on the Best Young Riders white jersey. The final breakaway rider returned to the peloton with 30km to go as Rafaa Chtioui (Skydive Dubai) then raced clear. The Tunisian champion did well to pry open a 2 minute gap but being alone against a number of hungry sprinters teams, it just wasn’t going to be his day. The race came all back together with a kilometer to go and our African team were looking to set up Theo Bos for the sprint. Andy Stauff did a good job in trying to steer Theo to the front but a chaotic finale saw the two lose each others wheels around the final bend. The high point of our day was seeing Songezo awarded the best young rider jersey as he sits in 7th position overall. It was our plan to get one rider into the breakaway of the day. I managed to jump away with four others, so the team didn’t need to work. It was really hot out there, but I’m happy that could take the white jersey. Songezo Jim – Rider The inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour started with a really hot stage. The thermometer showed temperatures of up to 44 degrees. And the riders were feeling it. Even though the stage was shortened, some had cramps. We handed out around 80 bottles to our riders. Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
  21. The Coppa Sabatini would be won by Eduard Prades (Caja-Rural) today ahead of Maurits Lammertink (Team Roompot) and Mauro Finetto (Southeast). MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Kristian Sbaragli finish in 11th position as our highest placed rider of the day. Click here to view the article
  22. For the most part, the Coppa Sabatini would be a slightly more relaxed Italian one day event as 3 riders went clear early on and the peloton allowed the trio to ride up to 8 minutes ahead. With 80km to go, only then did some sort of real chase begin. Bardiani and Nippo were the most prominent teams on the front, doing the lion’s share of the work. Our African team tried to leave it late and would only appear at the front of the race with 35km to go, assisting with the chase. As the pace went up, the peloton was thinned out until only half the peloton remained with just 15km to go. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Louis Meintjes, Merhawi Kudus, Serge and Kristian in the front group and all still in contention right to the end but it was Prades who would take a crafty win. Kristian had to settle for 11th position on the line while Serge was 12th. It was a beautiful sunny day at our race today. The guys went into an unexpected situation as 3 guys made the breakaway of the day with the first attack at kilometre 3. The bunch took it pretty easy and Bardiani and Nippo Fantini made the pace for most of the race. In the final 20km we were at the front of the bunch and part of all the racing, the finish just did not work out for us. Alex Sans Vega - Sport Director
  23. Our final tour of our season gets underway on Thursday as we take to the start of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour. The UCI 2.1 event that takes place in and around the capital of the United Arab Emirates will cover a total distance of 555km over 4 days of racing with 3 stages for sprinters and 1 for the climbers. Click here to view the article
  24. Stages 1, 2 and 4 will suit the fast guys as there will be very little climbing before riders enter a local circuit on each stage to complete a few laps before a probable sprint finish. The one factor that sprint teams will have to consider is the infamous desert crosswinds. The 4th stage takes place on the Yas Marina motor racing circuit, well known for hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix each year. Stage 3 is the day for the climbers as riders will finish at the the summit of the Jebel Hafeet, a 11km climb that has an 7% average gradient. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have 4 guys prepared to duel it out with the other sprinters in the form of Theo Bos, Matthew Goss, Andy Stauff and Youcef Reguigui. Completing our team will be Daniel Teklehaimanot and Songezo Jim as they look for their opportunities throughout the race and particularly on the 3rd stage. Abu Dhabi is a new race so we don't know what to expect really. There are a lot of World Tour teams here though so a lot could happen. For us the goal will be to concentrate on the sprints with Theo. Stage 3 is where the GC will be decided I think. I have been having issues with my knee lately but I'm hoping to do a good race. Either Daniel or I could be up there, we will just see who feels better on the day and the one will help the either. Songezo Jim - Rider The Abu Dhabi Tour takes place for the first time and there will be many strong riders here who want to finish the season on a high note. The race is only 4 stages long and stage 3 seems to be the stage for the GC riders. If the wind does not blow then this could be a sprinters dream race. We have 4 sprinters and 2 African climbers at the start and we will give everything we have left after a long, successful and tough year. Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
  25. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has entered its final week of racing this season and in Italy there are 3 one day events on the cards. The events are: Coppa Sabatini on Thursday, Giro dell Emilia on Saturday and Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli on Sunday. Click here to view the article
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