This week the South African National Road Championships get underway in Mbombela (previously known as Nelspruit). The Men’s elite time trial will take place on Thursday 5th of February while the road race is on Saturday 7th of February. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will send a strong quartet of riders to defend our national road race title which Louis Meintjes won in Westville last year. As defending road race champion, Louis will be joined by Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Jay Thomson. All 4 riders will also compete in the time trial race. Many will remember how Louis and Jay tagged.
The final race of the Mallorca Challenge saw the expected bunch sprint materialize. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were in the mix as Kristian Sbaragli sprinted his way to 9th position. The first rider across the line though was Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) he just pipped Andre Greipel (Lotto – Soudal) and Ben Swift (Team Sky) for the victory. The weather was not ideal for a bike race as riders were greeted with some cold, wet and even snowy conditions during the course of the race. With very little climbing on the menu though, the peloton would only really spring to life late in the day..
Several crashes overshadowed an active ride of team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung at the inaugural Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The weather conditions were everything but expected for racing in Australia. Strong winds and rain caused for several crashes. After an early group of three was able to establish a lead over the peloton, when the first crashes occurred. Unfortunately Songezo Jim hit the deck after 80 km of racing. Just a couple of kilometers later Serge Pauwels and Matt Brammeier were forced to get on their bikes again. The gap between the split peloton and the lead came down with around 100 kilometers of.
The third Mallorca Challenge race was one for the climbers as the route included no less than 7 categorised climbs. After coming 2nd behind our Steve Cummings during yesterday’s race, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) managed to go one better to claim the victory today. He crossed the line solo with Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) coming 2nd and Leopold Konig (Team Sky) in 3rd place. A fast start saw a number of attacks and counter attacks before a large group of 28 riders went clear. In that initial lead group, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had both Merhawi Kudus and Johann van Zyl present. Alejandro Valverde was also in.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will venture onto Australian soil for the first time in almost 4 years when they take to the the start of both the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour. The Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a UCI 1.1 event that takes place on the 1st of February. The UCI 2.1 Herald Sun Tour spans over 5 days from the 4th – 8th February. The last time our African team competed in Australia was back in 2011, when they took part in the Herald Sun Tour as a continental team. It was a successful outing.
The 2nd day of racing at the Mallorca Challenge proved to be a magical day for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung as Steve Cummings earned our team’s first victory of the season! Steve put in a late attack with just a kilometer to go after teammate Johann van Zyl spent over 145km’s in the days’ main breakaway. Johann was a shining star today as he showed some strong form and was clearly the strongest rider in the original 10 man break. On the lower slopes of the Cat 1 Puig Major, our young South African, along with Jose Goncalves (Caja-Rural) and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale-Garmin), rode.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will be using the ROTOR Q-Rings this season on all models of its Cervélo bikes. We are quite excited at this partnership and are pleased to report that ROTOR’s passion and support for the Qhubeka initiative has led them to produce special edition ROTOR Q-Rings for Qhubeka. The special edition Q-Rings will still be produced using ROTOR’s flagship Q-Rings design and technology. Q-Rings orient the chainring around a riders unique pedaling characteristics relative to both the ring’s ovalisation and form factors in order to improve performance. The ROTOR Q-Rings for Qhubeka will feature the unmistakable Yellow “Hand Up” Qhubeka logo on.
Today saw MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung begin their racing season at the Mallorca Challenge. Unfortunately we did not have the ideal start to our seasons campaign as Andreas Stauff crashed out of the race in the closing kilometers. It was a chaotic finale as the crosswinds pushed the peloton into the gutters. The high speed and limited road space made it a tough fight for position, eventually resulting in our German hitting the tarmac. It was later discovered that Andy had indeed fractured his collarbone. It is unfortunate for Andy as he was in really good shape and looking forward to the start of the season..
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung started its 2015 season off in bitter sweet fashion as early reports suggest Andreas Stauff has broken his collarbone during today’s first Challenge Mallorca race. The win was taken out by Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) though from a sprint finish. Elia Viviani (SKY) and Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) rounded out the podium. The days racing was characterised by a two man break. Alex Kirsch (Cult Energy) and Damien Garcia (Froy Oslo) built up a lead of just over 12 minutes before Lotto-Soudal and Cofidis started to reel them in. Kirsch would eventually go solo in the final 30km’s of racing but.
The Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung Mallorca training camp reached its conclusion yesterday after 11 successful days on the Spanish island. Despite some adverse weather conditions the motivation was high throughout the camp and a great foundation was laid by all riders and staff for the coming season. Daily training rides of up to 7 and a half hours coupled with various other training sessions made sure riders are well prepared for their early season goals. It was great to have a number of our partners join us on camp as well, all fine tuning their products to each of our riders specifications. The commitment shown by.