For the second time this year, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will race on American soil as our African team start the UCI 2.HC Tour of Utah on Monday 3 August.
The Tour of Utah is a 7 stage event, finishing on the 9th of August but only after the 16 teams have completed the 1100km route. It will be the 2nd time MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung take part in the Tour of Utah after debuting in the race back in 2013. The route is well balanced with opportunities for the sprinters and punchers in the first 5 days thereafter the climbers will have the chance to decide the GC over the final 2 stages.
It will be important for our MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team to race visibly as the event serves a key event in our Vuelta a Espana preparation. The Utah high altitude will be beneficial to our riders that are hoping to participate in the Spanish grand tour later this month.
We will line up with a strong team led by Natnael Berhane who comes off a 5th place finish at the recent Tour of Austria. Our stage victor from Austria, Johann van Zyl is also in Utah along with Jay Thomson, Songezo Jim, Adrien Niyonshuti, Youcef Reguigui, Matt Brammeier and Matt Goss.
Natnael Berhane – Rider
I am happy to be part of this race wearing my national jersey once again. I was in Austria a few weeks ago and now I am in America, it is great motivation for me to be showing the flag of Eritrea in these different countries. I have been training well for the Tour of Utah. The Tour of Utah is also part of my build up for the Vuelta so I would like to finish high up on the GC here. It will be good for my morale ahead of the Vuelta if I can ride well here.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
The goal is to continue just as the team has done so over the last few weeks and months. We want to race at the front, we must be visible and we want to try and win a stage.