Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is delighted to announce its 8-rider roster that will take on the final grand tour of the season, La Vuelta Espana.
After last year’s memorable Vuelta a Espana, that saw Ben King take two emphatic stage wins for our team, the American will return to the Spanish grand tour with similar stage hunting goals.
Joining King in the quest for stage honours will be our Norwegian star, Edvald Boasson Hagen. The 32-year-old has only once started the Vuelta a Espana previously, in 2013, but this year he will look to become part of an exclusive club, for riders who have won stages in all 3 grand tours, as he targets the group sprint stages of La Vuelta.
We will then have a talented trio of climbers: Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Louis Meintjes and Ben O’Connor ready to impress when we hit the big mountains. While Meintjes has grand tour top-10 experience and O’Connor came agonizingly close at last year’s Giro, it is Ghebreigzabhier that could very well be our surprise package of La Vuelta.
After completing the Giro d’Italia this year, the Eritrean claimed a National time trial title before successive 3rd place finishes on the Queen climbing stages of the Tour of Austria and Vuelta Burgos netted him top-10 GC results in both.
Nicholas Dlamini will be one of two grand tour debutants for us at La Vuelta. This will be the next step in the career of the young South African from Capricorn Park whose incredible journey to the top level of the sport underpins our team’s core belief that bicycles can indeed change lives.
Rasmus Tiller will be our second debutant and despite still only being in his neo-pro season, the Norwegian has shown strength beyond his years as well as a wide range of versatility, that has earned him his spot.
Completing our team will be the ever reliable Jaco Venter. Now starting his 7th grand tour, the 32-year-old South African will be tasked with supporting Boasson Hagen in the sprints before looking after our climbers later in the race.
Ben King – I’m feeling strong after the Tour de France and am excited to return to the Vuelta with good memories. We have a relatively young but very talented team. Having a card to play on every type of stage will guarantee that there’s never a boring stage for us!
Edvald Boasson Hagen – It will be nice to return to the Vuelta Espana and I look forward to this different approach to the end of my season. I really enjoy racing in Spain, even though it does not happen so often, but there are some nice stages at the Vuelta this year, so we hope to do well.
Nicholas Dlamini – I really look forward to the Vuelta, I’m super excited and nervous at the same time. It’s a special one for me as it’s my first grand tour so I don’t know what to expect really, but I look forward to racing and adding good value to the team. I have had a reduced racing program, so I’ve been training really hard for this Vuelta.
Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier – After finishing a very difficult Giro d’Italia this year, I have come into the 2nd half of the season with some good strength and so I have very high motivation now. Last year it was my first Vuelta Espana and in the 3rd week I could still achieve a top 10 result. This year I think I am stronger and have a little more experience, so I hope to be able to do a good result for me, the team and Eritrea.