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Found 10 results

  1. The Pyrenees - I never get tired of looking at them. . . . . As the title suggests, I'm going to try and fill this thread with all manner of interesting, funny and/or informative cycling related things from this beautiful part of the world and the surrounding areas. :-)
  2. While the course was spectator friendly, pretty much running along the boardwalk and beach side boulevard to Marbella, the 7 different surface changes made for an interesting and somewhat tricky parcours. The concerns about the route eventually saw the organisers neutralise the GC results but the stage win was still up for grabs. Our African team were all too happy to be at the start of our 2nd grand tour of the year and the intentions were to give the opening stage a good crack. Under race conditions though, the dirt roads and wooden bridges had to be taken with relative caution. Nevertheless our African team put in a strong performance to finish only 30 seconds off the winning time of the day, that of the team time trial world champions. We look forward to the upcoming road stages in sunny Spain. It was really fast and over pretty quickly actually. It was almost too quick to take any of it in but I am glad it is done and now the real Vuelta can start, which I am really excited for. Johann van Zyl - Rider It wasn't your typical team time trial for a grand tour. I think on TV it was a spectacular race for the fans because over the beach and near the harbour it was beautiful. From our side it was a bit tricky but we went as fast as we could in the conditions and finishing in the middle of the pack, that is a good start for us. Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
  3. The La Vuelta a Espana got underway with a 7.4km team time trial, BMC Racing would ride away with the stage win while MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were just 30 seconds shy of the leading time, finishing 14th. Click here to view the article
  4. After our debut Grand Tour appearance at last year’s La Vuelta a Espana, it is fantastic that we will be able to return to the Spanish grand tour this year. The minute the announcement was made, the amazing memories from last years’ experience came flooding back to the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung camp. As was proved last year, the Vuelta a Espana is the grand tour which suits our African riders perfectly. The soaring temperatures allowed our riders to come into their own and animate the race on a daily basis. We look forward to going back to this special and beautiful race, improving on our previous results and further establishing our team as a major player in world cycling. The 2015 Vuelta a Espana will commence on the 22nd August, starting once again with a team time trial. Riders will tackle 21 stages in total, covering a total distance of 3 374km's before finishing in the Spanish capital of Madrid on September 13th. It is absolutely great. The Vuelta is one of the races that really suits us African riders quite nicely. The terrain and weather are conditions we are accustomed to. To go back there is great because we will have the experience from last year so we will hope to grow and improve on our results. We also have great depth in our team this year so it is exciting that we have the opportunity to represent Qhubeka at two grand tours this year. Louis Meintjes - Rider La Vuelta will be a race we will always remember as it was our first grand tour for our African team. To be able to go back this year gives us an incredible opportunity to improve on our performances from a year ago, it gives us the opportunity to give more African riders a chance to race a grand tour and experience one of the most beautiful races in the world. Douglas Ryder - Team Principle This team is growing from strength to strength and we are pleased that the organisers of La Vuelta have realised that we are not just about the numbers but more about what we can bring to the party. Last year we started and finished with a full team. This year we have very ambitious plans. We are so looking forward to going back to La Vuelta. Brian Smith - General Manager
  5. The Vuelta a Espana organisation committee announced the 5 wildcards for the 70th edition of the Vuelta a Espana earlier today. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were delighted to receive the vote of confidence from the race organisers once again, as they extended an invitation to our African team. Click here to view the article
  6. Tomorrow Africa’s team start their first ever grand tour, La Vuelta a Espana. Boundaries are being broken with an unprecedented 6 grand tour debutantes starting the La Vuelta . As well as in Merhawi Kudus, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will field the youngest rider in the race. Click here to view the article
  7. For each and every Team MTN-Qhubeka rider starting La Vuelta a Espana, it is a case of a dream being realised. The motivation and morale among the entire team is sky high as we prepare to get the ball rolling with tomorrow’s Team Time Trial. Gerald Ciolek It is a great moment for our team to be at the start of La Vuelta, it is such a big step forward for us. We can do well in this race, it suits us nicely and our climbers will be at home in this race. Sergio Pardilla I am so happy to here at my home race with our African team. Our team has a lot of young riders, for them it is the first time they are doing such a big race but I’m very confident in our young African guys. They can definitely give me all the support I need to get a top 10 result on GC. Louis Meintjes It is a very proud moment for me. A few years back I didn't think this was possible to be at this level in world cycling. To be the South African champion here at the Vuelta also makes it that much more special. There is a lot of media attention around the jersey which is great for South Africa. Jay Thomson I don’t think I can put my nerves into a sentence, i'm 28 years old now but i'm starting my first grand tour and it is a dream that’s come true. As a bike rider, to be here at the Vuelta, I really couldn't ask for anything more. The support we have got from back home is crazy, I mean if you just look at the road show going around South Africa at the moment we even have our biggest South African rugby stars rallying support for the team and that speaks volumes in itself. Jaco Venter Since the news has come out that we are riding the support from back home has been amazing, and now the time has come to start and still every day we are still getting so many messages of encouragement. This has really been a big motivating factor for me. Jacques Janse van Rensburg I have worked hard this year to make it to the Vuelta, after being diagnosed with my illness I have now had my best season in certainly the last 5 years. So obviously I am really happy to here and I am ready to work for Sergio in the mountains but obviously I look forward to taking my chances in a break away as well. Merhawi Kudus I am really happy to be here at the Vuelta, before I think of any results the most important thing for me is that I am just here at the start. For my country, Eritrea, it is an important time in our history too. The bicycle is really famous back home, and now we have 3 Eritrean’s in this race. Whenever i look at Eritrean media they are always talking about us and the Vuelta, this shows me it is a good opportunity for us but also a difficult one. We have got lots of encouragement though so I look forward to trying to finish this race now that I am here. Daniel Teklehaimanot I did my first grand tour with GreenEdge but now I am doing it with my home team from Africa so i'm a really excited and happy to be here. The first time I was here I was very stressed and I think that is normal but now that I have a little experience and I am with my home team I am definitely more motivated than the last time. Kristian Sbaragli This is my first grand tour and I am happy to here. I watched this race many times on t.v as a kid but now I am riding and I want to take in as much experience as possible. This year I have got a lot top 10 results but I took a nice break in the middle of the year so I could prepare specifically for the Vuelta. I am coming here in good shape and ready to work for Gerald 100% and learn as much as I can.
  8. The 10 years of hard work and sacrifice it has taking to get to this point can now be enjoyed. Now that Africa’s team have arrived, the story will not stop here though. Big bold goals have been set as Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung look to stake their claim and cement Africa’s place in world cycling. Our 9 riders taking part in the 69th La Vuelta a Espana were revealed earlier in the week and have all had the perfect final weeks build up. The team are ready to take on their most important appointment to date and they will do so with one goal! Watch our One Goal - #AfricasTeam video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_t7nIJkvScw Director Sportif – Jens Zemke If we have one goal for the Vuelta it will be to ride in such a way that we are very visible and we need to stay in the minds of the spectators so they can understand who we are and what our team is about. We need them to say MTN, yes they did a great job. We don’t have somebody that can win the Vuelta so we have to take every little opportunity that comes our way. That can be looking for a stage result, maybe taking a jersey, looking for a good GC spot, going in all the breaks, everything. We really have to go for everything. The first week will be very important and dangerous. It is the only stages for the real sprinters and everybody is fresh and in a good shape so they will all fight for a good result. I also i know that the region we are in, the wind will play a big role in the first week and so all the GC riders will be fighting for a good position along with the sprinters and it will be super nervous. Gerald is our clear leader for the sprints. He has proven he can win the big races and he also has a stage win in the Vuelta in his palmares. The other thing is we also don’t have a lead out like the other teams but for us the thing is to deliver Gerald onto a good wheel and this we have to do well by being prepared. We will not have many chances so we have to get this right pretty soon. As far as the GC goes, Sergio is our rider that can possibly do something and the younger riders like Louis and Merhawi know what their role is. It is too early for these young guys to fight for every second over 3 weeks but they will certainly get their chance when we say yes, today is your day and you can go for it.
  9. The time has come and Team MTN-Qhubeka have arrived at the biggest stage in world cycling. Africa’s first ever cycling team to participate in a grand tour was presented at La Vuelta a Espana team presentation this evening in Jerez, Spain. Starting with a team trial tomorrow evening, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have its 6 African and 3 European riders make history as they embark on a 23 day journey that will give birth to so many new dreams in the minds of young African’s everywhere. Click here to view the article
  10. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung La Vuelta a Espana Lineup Sergio Pardilla Gerald Ciolek Louis Meintjes Jay Thomson Jaco Venter Jacques Janse van Rensburg Daniel Teklehaimanot Merhawi Kudus Kristian Sbaragli Reserve: Ignatas Konovalovas Team Principal- Douglas Ryder I must truly thank Unipublic for giving us this opportunity to participate in La Vuelta a Espana this year. It is fitting that Africa’s first ever team to race a Grand Tour starts the one Grand Tour that is closest to the African Continent. I am really proud of this team and how the riders have stepped up in the last 2 years. To have such a great team dynamic in our first Grand Tour with a strong representation from the African Continent shows how far this team has come and how all of our European riders have helped fast-track this team to success. It was a really tough decision to select the final 9 riders as our team has riders that have so much to offer. Thanks to the management team and the staff who built the team up to this incredible milestone for African Cycling and to our invaluable title sponsor MTN who believed in the dream so many years ago. The recent support from Samsung helped us step up to another level and the Qhubeka Foundation gave us a reason to exist way beyond performances on the bike. Support our team through this journey as another chapter starts Rider – Gerald Ciolek It’s a great thing that we’ll be at the start of La Vuelta, it is a big step forward for our team. I am personally looking forward to it too because I believe our team can perform really well at this race. It is a race that suits our team and especially our climbers can be successful. Rider – Louis Meintjes I am super happy to have been selected to race La Vuelta, I still can’t really believe it. I think after La Vuelta I will only realise what it actually means. My main goal will firstly be to just reach the finish and after that I will definitely look to target 1 or 2 stages for a result. Of course I will help support Sergio for the GC on the mountain stages too. Rider – Jay Thomson This is probably one of the proudest moments in my career to be on the start line of my first grand tour. I just can’t wait to get the ball rolling. Having 4 riders from South Africa is unreal and a total of 6 from Africa to start La Vuelta is something really special. Never before has this been done so it’s a massive step for African cycling. Rider – Jaco Venter I am so happy to have been selected. I must admit, it has been a really stressful few weeks leading up to La Vuelta but I couldn’t be happier and I hope to make the team and all our fans proud. Rider – Kristian Sbaragli I am really happy and proud to be part of the final selection for La Vuelta. It will definitely be a hard race but I am confident I can do well at my first grand tour. I have been preparing for a long time at altitude for La Vuelta so I will be ready.
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