Nicholas Dlamini – Tokyo Olympian and Tour De France rider – will continue his journey with Team Qhubeka, as one of 14 riders in our squad for 2022.
Dlamini, the 26-year-old from Cape Town, South Africa, takes on a unique role as a mentor and rider for the Team Qhubeka UCI Continental team based in Lucca, Italy. Dlamini graduated from the team’s development outfit before turning professional in 2018.
This extremely exciting young team boasts a wide range of diverse talents from South Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Italy. Team Qhubeka plays a crucial role in cycling’s fabric, with over 50 riders from Africa having had the opportunity to grow through our programme and race at the highest level, which in 2019 saw Samuele Battistella crowned the under-23 World Champion.
As a UCI Continental team in 2022, our vision is to continue to see cycling diversify, to reach new audiences and to move forward. Our mission is clear and we are committed to changing lives through bicycles. Our partnership with the Qhubeka Charity is paramount, as we share this common belief.
We are also most grateful to our incredible partners that have enabled us to continue our journey as Team Qhubeka in 2022, and we look forward to engage in many new partnerships in support of us rising again in the future.
Douglas Ryder (Team Qhubeka: Principal):
Team Qhubeka means to move forward, and we will continue to move forwards, changing people’s lives, providing hope, opportunity, and mobility. Our team is about performance and racing, but it is equally about upliftment and community. We are very excited about our UCI Continental team for this year as well as our incredible partners. I want to thank our fan community for all your support and messages. We have listened to you and in the coming weeks we look forward to engaging with you to become part of Team Qhubeka. #BicyclesChangeLives
A special thanks to our partners: Qhubeka, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Pax8, Acronis, Hunt, Ekoi, Mercedes-Benz, Supersport, Hoap, Bigalli Libero, L.A.B. SRL, Mercedes-Benz Louwman, Amacx Nutrition, APO Group, Flare, Gaerne, Garmin, L’Avenir, Morgan Blue, Rotor, and Tacx.
Kevin Campbell (Team Manager):
Every year we start the season excited to realise the potential of our African riders. They usually come to our attention through word of mouth or because of one standout performance. While not every rider from our team has moved onto a professional team, we are encouraged by the fact that we have also unearthed superbly talented riders that have gone on to perform at a world class level.
Our 2022 squad is a good balance of experienced riders with some exciting young prospects, and all our riders are hungry for success. We are the flag-bearers for the African continent at many events within Italy and around Europe, and we want to continue to showcase the richness of talent that can be found in Africa, talent that is deserving of opportunities to compete against the best cyclists in the world.
Nicholas Dlamini (Rider):
I am really excited to stay with Team Qhubeka as the team means an enormous amount to me and is a part of my DNA. To continue to support the Qhubeka Charity in racing for a purpose is completely unique across not only cycling, but all sport.
The team has given me personal opportunities including being able to fulfil my childhood dream and to ride at the Tour de France. This year I will fill a mentorship role to the under 23 riders in the squad. Having moved through the ranks and now being able to mentor the youngsters in the team and show them the ropes, will be extremely fulfilling for me.
Regarding the Tour de France, there is unfinished business and I would love to go back to the Tour to finish what I started; I still have a lot of years ahead of me to race my bike and to achieve my dreams and goals.
2022 Team Qhubeka (14 riders)
Nicholas Dlamini – 26 (South Africa – Mentor and rider)
Dlamini turned professional in 2018 as a graduate of the development team based in Lucca and went on to win the coveted King of the Mountains jersey in his first race as a pro at Australia’s Tour Down Under, a result he replicated at the Tour of Britain in the same year. An arm injury saw the bulk of his 2019 season curtailed but in 2021 he made global headlines when he was selected to participate at the Tour de France while also going on to represent South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Renus Uhiriwe – 20 (Rwanda)
The 2019 African Continental Junior Champion initially struggled to adapt to the racing conditions in Europe, but he started to find his racing legs towards the end of the season. We are confident that Renus will start to perform at a high level in 2022 and fulfil the potential we see in him.
Negasi Abreha – 21 (Ethiopia)
Despite not being able to return to his home since arriving in Italy at the start of 2020 due to the ongoing conflict in his home region in Ethiopia, Negasi has remained committed and is focused on earning a professional contract for himself. The 2019 Ethiopian National champion is determined to turn the experience gained from the last two seasons on our team into podiums and wins.
Ghebrehiwet Birhane – 21 (Eritrea)
Ghebrehiwet’s season was derailed by an early season crash that resulted in him picking up a serious injury. He has completed his rehab work and is determined to build on the harsh lessons learnt this past year.
Kevin Bonaldo – 21 (Italy)
Kevin worked as a support rider for most of this past season but still managed 6 top-10 finishes. He will be a key leader of our team in 2022 and we are confident that Kevin will continue to perform well at the highest level.
Mattia Guasco – 21 (Italy)
Mattia has worked hard for the team as a support rider for the past two seasons, but we are confident he will take the experience he now has earned and turn in some top performances.
Luca Coati – 22 (Italy)
Luca joined the Qhubeka team in 2021 as a final year under 23 rider. He earned several excellent results throughout the season and was earmarked as a rider for our World Tour team. In addition to numerous top-10 finishes and podium places in U23 and Elite level races, Luca won two events in Italy. He also performed well when riding as a member of Team Qhubeka Assos in Norway and Slovenia. We believe in his potential as a rider and decided to continue to invest in his talent, as we believe he deserved another opportunity to earn a position in the professional cycling ranks.
Travis Stedman – 19 (South Africa – new rider)
Travis is joining the team fresh from his victory in the 947 Ride Joburg. This talented young rider has yet to fully face the challenges of racing in Europe but the experience he gained competing in the 2021 World Cycling Championships in Belgium will stand him in good stead.
Nahom Zeray Araya – 19 (Eritrea – new rider)
At just 19 years old Nahom was the revelation of the 2021 Tour Rwanda, finishing as the first African rider – 9th overall – in a quality international field. This talented rider is eager to prove himself against the best U23 riders in the world and we are confident that his talent will see him ride to the top levels in this sport.
Efrem Gebrehiwet Araya – 19 (Eritrea – new rider)
Efrem is another in the long line of talented Eritrean riders leaping to prominence by finishing 4th in the 2021 Eritrean national champs competing against some of the current best Eritrean World Tour professionals. He is eager to prove himself against the best u23 riders in the world and add his name to the ever-growing list of Eritrean WT professionals.
Jacopo Meneghotto – 21 (Italy – new rider)
Fast finishing Jacopo achieved 7 top-10’s in a superb 2021 season. He is looking to add to his cycling experience by racing in international events around Europe. We are excited by his sprinting talent and are confident he will win races for our team.
Nicolo Parisini – 21 (Italy – new rider)
Nicolo is another young rider starting to perform at the highest level, ending the 2021 season with 7 top-10 placings in the latter part of the 2021 season. We look forward to having him on our team and are confident that he will continue to improve as a rider.
Raffaele Mosca – 18 (Italy – new rider)
Raffaele finished his junior racing career with three great victories and over 20 top-10 places in 2021. He is an exciting prospect for Italian cycling, and we are confident that he will grow as a cyclist with our team during the season.
Alessandro Iacchi – 22 (Italy – new rider)
Alessandro earned some consistent and promising results early on as an U23 rider and these results earned him place on a professional team. Unfortunately, his development stalled while riding in the professional ranks and we decided to afford him another opportunity to continue his cycling development. Alessandro brings some valuable experience to our team, and we know he will assist in the development of our younger riders while lifting the performance level of our team.