Team Dimension Data Announces Tour de France Team
It’s a squad that carries a huge amount of experience and will look to challenge by way of aggressive racing, while at the same time staying true to the team’s goal of changing lives through bicycles.
Among a host of fast men in the line up Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen is one of a handful who has represented the team since 2015. He’s won three stages of the Tour and comes into the race in good form with three wins under his belt this year, looking to again peak on the biggest stage.
There’s a Tour de France debut for sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo who is full of confidence having won the final stage at the recent Tour of Slovenia. The Italian, who has raced seven Giro dÍtalia’s, brings a huge amount of experience into the line-up.
South Africa’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg will be eyeing a series of stages for the fast men who are keen on tackling the hills as he competes in the race for a fifth time. He made his debut for the team in 2015 and has seven top-10 finishes to his name this season.
Stephen Cummings will be looking at repeating his heroics on Mandela Day in 2015 as this year’s parcours is well suited to his style of racing. The former British champion has won two stages and will be looking for more in his sixth appearance at the race.
“I was pleasantly surprised about the Tour selection, I wasn’t expecting that. I’m very grateful to the team again for the opportunity to go to the Tour and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think it’s a pretty open Tour, there are a lot of chances to be aggressive and I think it suits the team that we have very well and I hope that we can have a great July and every one can be proud of us.” said Steve Cummings.
There are two very exciting “new caps” in Roman Kreuziger and Michael Valgren. The former has four top-10 finishes at Le Grande Boucle and will relish the challenge that this very tough route poses.
While for Valgren, one of the most exciting riders in the world in recent years, he’ll be looking forward to making his debut for the team, targeting a podium spot on a number of stages and going one better than his fourth place on stage 15 in 2018.
Lars Bak joins countryman Valgren in a crucial support role in the team. This will be his eighth time taking on Le Grande Boucle and his versatility over varied terrain will make him a key asset to the team throughout the race.
Concluding the selection is Ben King who joined Team DiData in 2017 and rides the Tour de France for a second time having first ridden it in 2014. Last year was in some ways a breakout year for the American, as he impressed with two stage victories at the Vuelta a Espana.
“I finally got the call that I’ve been waiting for! I have been selected for the Tour de France with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. For many Americans the Tour is the only race that they know so it’s a huge deal. I can finally tell everyone who asks every year “Yes, I’ll be there”. It’s a massive honour but also a huge responsibility, there’s really nothing like it.” said Ben King.
In an exciting innovation for the team in 2019 each of the selected riders has been assigned a unique Tour de France cap, chronologically referencing the number for which they have been “capped” for our team at the race since 2015. These are revealed for the first time in our team announcement video which was filmed on location in Khayelitsha, Cape Town at the Velokhaya Life Cycle Academy by young members who dream of competing in the future on the biggest stage. Our team visited Velokhaya on our annual training camp in November last year and it proved to be a source of great inspiration to our riders and staff who were present.
In the last five editions of the Tour de France, 18 riders have represented our team and so this year sees a number of new riders being “capped”.
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Stephen Cummings and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, are the only riders from the Tour de France debut in 2015 and so are assigned as numbers one, two and five respectively. While Valgren, Kreuziger, Nizzolo, Bak and King are all new additions.
“I’m really looking forward to starting another Tour de France, it will be my fifth Tour this year. I think that we’ve got a good team to target for stage wins and there are some good stages that suit me. So I’m really looking forward to this year’s tour again, three weeks of racing in the heat so I’m just completing my final preparations for that at the moment.” said Reinardt Janse van Rensburg.