TEAM MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is delighted to announce the final nine man team that will make history as the first African team to participate in Le Tour de France.
Starting on 4 July these nine riders will represent the African continent on cycling’s most global stage, with the objective of driving our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign so that we can mobilise 5000 kids in Africa with bicycles this July.
Our long list of 11 riders was announced on 2 June. In the two weeks since this initial announcement, we saw the magnificent performance of our African team at the Criterium du Dauphine. It was the performance at the Dauphine that gave our management team the final confirmation to select our Le Tour team.
We are delighted to select two Eritrean riders, the first men ever from the country, to take part in the Tour de France. In all likelihood, Merhawi Kudus will also be the youngest rider in the race, while Daniel Teklehaimanot will start the Grande Boucle fresh off winning our team’s first-ever World Tour leaders jersey at the recent Criterium du Dauphine.
There will be three South African riders making their Tour de France debut: the African champion, Louis Meintjes, South African champion, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.
Edvald Boasson Hagen brings a wealth of experience, having been a part of two previous Tour de France winning teams. Tyler Farrar has won stages in all three Grand Tours previously; Steve Cummings brings incredible time trial strength and the ever aggressive Serge Pauwels will compliment our 5 African riders, completing our African team for the 102nd Tour de France. Natnael Berhane and Youcef Reguigi will be the two reserve riders for the team.
MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders for 102nd Le Tour de France
- Daniel Teklehaimanot [Eritrea – profile]
- Merhawi Kudus [Eritrea – profile]
- Edvald Boasson Hagen [Norway – profile]
- Steve Cummings [Great Britain – profile]
- Tyler Farrar [USA – profile]
- Jacques Janse van Rensburg [South Africa – profile]
- Reinardt Janse van Rensburg [South Africa – profile]
- Louis Meintjes [South Africa – profile]
- Serge Pauwels [Belgium – profile]
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Two Eritrean Riders to Compete in Tour de France
MTN-Qhubeka, the first African-based team to ride in the Tour de France, named its nine-rider line-up on Tuesday with three South Africans and two Eritreans making the cut.
The team, which promotes the BicylesChangeLives campaign that it hopes will mobilise young Africans, will feature Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot who will become the first riders from Eritrea to ride in the world-famous race.
They will be supporting seasoned professionals like Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen, Britain’s Steve Cummings and American Tyler Farrar, who has won stages on all three Grand Tours.
“It was always going to be difficult to choose nine riders from 23,” the team’s general manager Brian Smith said.
“It was even more difficult as history will be made in July when the first South African-based team takes the start in Utrecht. Tyler Farrar will be our captain on the road and work with Edvald Boasson Hagen and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg towards the flatter stages.
“We hope to raise awareness and garner support for our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign by targeting performance goals that include a stage win and wearing a competition jersey.”
At 21, Kudus will be the youngest rider in the race while Teklehaimanot will start fresh off winning the team’s first-ever World Tour jersey at the recent Criterium du Dauphine.