As Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka gears up for the Tour of Poland starting Saturday, our African Team will also be represented in two other World Tour one day events this weekend. On Saturday, the 231km Clasica San Sebastian takes place in Spain and on Sunday, the 185km RideLondon-Surrey Classic gets underway in the United Kingdom.
With the Tour de France ending less than a week ago, a number of riders will be looking to carry their Tour form into the Clasica Sebastian including our African Team climber, Serge Pauwels. The one day World Tour race is one for the climbers as no less than 8 categorised climbs will need to be completed before the finish is reached in San Sebastian.
Racing off the back of his top 20 result overall at the Tour, Pauwels will lead our African Team on Saturday while a host of climbers will further strengthen our squad. Omar Fraile, Igor Anton, Merhawi Kudus, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Lachlan Morton and Ben King who are all vying for a place on our Vuelta a Espana squad, will look to show their form on the Spanish roads. Completing our team will be Tour de France debutant, Jaco Venter.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
We are looking forward to our late summer Spanish racing campaign, starting with the Clasica San Sebastian tomorrow followed by Vuelta Burgos and then the Vuelta a Espana. San Sebastian is a beautiful race but extremely difficult. There is nowhere to hide and the level will be very high. You have to have good legs and a strong team to be successful at San Sebastian and we believe we have both going into tomorrow’s race. Our team is complete with exciting climbers and we will look to race with positive intent because once you are behind the game in San Sebastian, it is very difficult to come back into the mix.
With Saturday in Spain being one for the climbers, the fast men can look forward to their chance on Sunday at the RideLondon-Surrey Classic. The course made famous by hosting the 2012 Olympic Games road race, will now host the World Tour peloton for the first time as the event makes the step up to the highest level of our sport. Last year Mark Renshaw sprinted to a fine 2nd place for our African Team in London and the Aussie will return this year.
Ryan Gibbons, Scott Thwaites, Jay Thomson, Johann van Zyl and Adrien Niyonshuti are set to complete our team for the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
Roger Hammond – Sport Director
The RideLondon-Surrey Classic has grown year on year and is now part of the World Tour which is pretty special. It has been terrific to grow with this race as a team and the support for Dimension Data for Qhubeka in the United Kingdom makes this an event we look forward to each season. Last year we missed the top step by a single place, and so this year we hope to make that right.