Team Qhubeka ASSOS is delighted to announce contract renewals for Nicholas Dlamini and Carlos Barbero.
Dlamini, 25, continues his journey with us having made the step up from our Lucca-based Continental team into Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour outfit in 2018, and subsequently firmly establishing himself as a household name.
A previous King of the Mountains classification winner at the Tour Down Under as well as the Tour of Britain, the South African’s 2020 season got off to the worst possible start as he spent time recovering from a broken arm, which ruled him out of all competition prior to the season being halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following the season’s restart, Dlamini’s focus was on the build-up to his second grand tour appearance at the Vuelta a Espana and included the World Championships in Imola. He unfortunately was forced to withdraw from the former due to illness, and will consolidate a comprehensive off-season programme in full preparation for 2021 which includes a major goal of representing Team South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Barbero, 29, has made an incredibly positive impact on the team since joining at the start of 2020. An effervescent character, he had a very good start to the year at the Saudi Tour finishing sixth on the general classification.
The Spaniard unfortunately crashed while training in late July and his resultant preparations for the Vuelta a Espana were impacted, although he did manage excellent top-10 finishes at the Memorial Marco Pantani and Coppa Sabatini-Gran Premio citta di Peccioli.
These renewals follow-on from the confirmation earlier in the week that European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo remains with the team, together with new signings in Simon Clarke, Dimitri Claeys and Kilian Frankiny.
That’s in addition to Victor Campenaerts, Domenico Pozzovivo, Michael Gogl, Andreas Stokbro, Max Walscheid and Dylan Sunderland who were all already under contract.
To re-sign with the team, now as Team Qhubeka ASSOS, is a big relief as it means that the African dream stays alive. Having Qhubeka back as part of our name is very special and I’m really looking forward to seeing the kit design with the Qhubeka hand on our back, they have always been part of our DNA and very close to our hearts. The focus is of course on winning but also importantly on putting children on bicycles, so I know that my teammates and I are suffering out there for a great purpose.
I really look forward to getting the season underway and I’ve already started my planning for it including training camps and looking at some of the races that I really want to focus on. 2021 is a big year for me and the team, and I really want to showcase my talent and show the team colours prominently in races, so I really look forward to getting the season underway.
Doug has worked really hard to keep the team alive and we all appreciate his incredible efforts. We now need to give the absolute maximum back to the team; to try and score the best possible results for next year and hopefully we can keep the dream alive for another couple of years.
I am delighted to continue in this great family. I have felt very comfortable during this strange year in the team and my desire was always to renew.
I’d like to extend my thanks to the incredible work Doug has done to keep the team alive in 2021, as riders this provides us the platform to continue to educate the world that “bicycles change lives” and so I cannot wait to ride next season as Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
In Nic and Carlos you couldn’t have two more different stories in terms of their background but who epitomise exactly the power that our team, and sport has, in bringing people together. Both are exceptional individuals and core to the fabric of our team going into next season.
Nic’s continued development is something that we are very proud of. He’s someone that we’ve supported ever since he first dreamed of becoming a professional rider. To come through our Continental team, and then to establish himself at WorldTour level, speaks to exactly what we are as an organisation.
2020 though has been a very difficult year for everyone, and Nic had additional challenges in that he was injured for the first quarter of it. At 25 he is now in a crucial part of his career as a rider and knows that he now needs to kick on as part of that, not just for himself but also for the team.
Carlos came in at the start of the season and immediately made such a big impact. His personality away from the bike makes him an incredible team man and he’s ambitious on it too, so he’s the perfect mix. He also had some misfortune this year getting injured just prior to his “home race” – the Vuelta a Burgos – but we know that he will take on the challenge that next season will bring head-on.