Laureus’ MTN-Qhubeka become the first African team to ride the Tour de France
Africa’s first Pro-Continental cycling team, Team MTN-Qhubeka, who proudly joined the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation’s elite group of sporting ambassadors last year, has the become first African team to ride the Tour de France.
Following on from their fantastic 2013 debut season on the international cycling stage, the MTN-Qhubeka riders made history on 23 August 2014 as the first African team to compete in a Grand Tour, La Vuelta (the Tour of Spain). And now, the South African outfit was one of five teams handed wildcards for the race to complement the 17 International Cycling Union (UCI) teams automatically selected.
"It would be another step in history for African cycling. It would also be a historic moment for the Grand Boucle itself, as the organizers would add a new continent to their exposure" said team director Jens Zemke Team MTN-Qhubeka website before the big announcement was made.
Their rider list includes former Orica-GreenEDGE sprinter Matthew Goss, who boasts three Grand Tour stage wins, and 27-year-old Norweigan time-trial star Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Eritrea's 24-year-old two-time African champion, Natnael Berhane, and several South Africans are also on the roster.
Team MTN-Qhubeka and all the other Laureus Ambassadors are a select group of current and former sportsmen and women around the world who have achieved sporting greatness or made significant contributions to the sporting community during their careers. They are recognised as role models and icons of success and have volunteered their services to support the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.