Douglas Ryder, the South African founder of NTT Pro Cycling, is thrilled to announce the next step in our team’s incredible journey, which sees us moving forward in partnership with the leader in performance cycling apparel, ASSOS of Switzerland, to create Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Since founding the team, Ryder’s ultimate dream has been to use the profile and success the team has developed on cycling’s global stage to promote its purpose: changing lives through bicycles together with the Qhubeka Charity.
This call to action has been keenly felt by our riders, staff, partners and fans across the world and seen our team raise funds for more than 30 000 bicycles for distribution to Qhubeka programmes in South Africa.
From 2021, our team – which has formerly ridden as MTN, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and most recently NTT Pro Cycling – will be in the exciting position to further advance this movement by racing to raise awareness of the mobility challenges that occur throughout communities in Africa.
Team Principal Douglas Ryder said: “I am really happy to have gained the support of some incredible people and partners including ASSOS of Switzerland who have stepped in to be a headline sponsor. To be able to recreate the team as Team Qhubeka ASSOS talks to exactly what we continue to strive for, and that is to be a purpose-led, high-performance racing team. The last few weeks have been incredible seeing all the comments from fans in terms of how this team has connected with them in different ways. I am so happy we can continue to create hope and opportunity through our team and with Qhubeka Charity.
“I look forward to welcoming new partners to Team Qhubeka ASSOS as we plan and prepare for a new season in 2021 in a world that has been so heavily impacted by the pandemic. The bicycle continues to be a tool to change the lives of so many people for commuting, for sport, for health, for freedom and access. Our team has always been about much more than victories, but we do love to win.”
“I also want to pay a special tribute to our staff. Those in the sport know just how difficult it is, so to see the diligence, care and professionalism they’ve shown throughout gives me inspiration, every day. We truly are a family,” Ryder concluded.
Derek Bouchard-Hall, ASSOS CEO, said: “We have really enjoyed being part of this mission driven team – Qhubeka’s slogan that “bicycles change lives” could not inspire us more. And ASSOS has always been and continues to be deeply entwined in professional cycling – we were really moved by the opportunity to support the sport during the COVID crisis by keeping this important team part of the pro peloton.”
“We love the mission, the people and the challenge that comes with it,” said Roche Maier, ASSOS Board Member and Chief ASSOS Creative design Centre. “We are made in cycling and contributing to support and further develop the pinnacle of high-performance cycling is just the proper thing to do, especially in these uncertain times.
“Team Qhubeka ASSOS is not a traditional sponsorship but will be operated as the lighthouse of the Assos Worksteam. Our team will be used to push boundaries of product development and stress tests to yet another level. We thank Douglas for the opportunity.”
Qhubeka Executive Director, Tsatsi Phaweni said: “Qhubeka has developed a relationship with Doug Ryder and his team that spans more than a decade and is founded on our shared belief that bicycles change people’s lives for the better.
“We have huge respect for all they have achieved to date and look forward to continuing to cheer them on in 2021 and beyond. We remain grateful for their continued support of our work and for all their efforts to raise funds and awareness for Qhubeka, along with their fans, sponsors and the broader cycling community. Together, we can change more lives with bicycles, and so we wish them every success.”
A special thanks to our partners: ASSOS of Switzerland, BMC, Mercedes Benz, Supersport, Rotor, Selle Italia, Tacx, Garmin, OTE, Morgan Blue, Vittoria, Compresssport, KMC, Vida e Café, Solrx, Lumin Sports, EME.Italy, Hyperice, Scicon, ASG, Elite, Burgt Reclame, L’Avenir, APO Group, Zwift and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
Further details and announcements related to the team will be made in due course.