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26 Nov, 2015

Wild Card entries no longer needed

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South Africa’s first Pro-Continental cycling team has just received confirmation that it will race the 2016 season with a World Tour licence.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed the news earlier today, with Team Dimension Data (as the team will be known next year) once again making history on the African continent.

“The realisation of this dream has only been made possible by years of hard work, strategic partnerships, incredible riders producing exceptional performances and support staff. We are delighted to rewrite the history books and place African cycling at the highest level in World Cycling. To our partners Dimension Data, Deloitte, Cervélo, Sapinda, Rotor and all the others that have believed in the future of this team thank you for your support in making this a reality. As a World Tour team we believe we will be able to mobilise more people on bicycles through the Qhubeka Charity and our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign,” the press statement said.

Team Dimension Data also announced that it would be registering a UCI Continental team in 2016 as well.

“This team will be based out of our training centre in Lucca, Italy and will allow our young, up and coming African riders to race a solid European season.”

Dimension Data Team Principal, Douglas Ryder, said: “This is incredible, I am so happy for this team, our partners and all the staff and riders that have worked so hard over the years to keep building this team to push beyond the boundaries and believe that anything is possible. To get this news on our training camp in Cape Town as we are bonding with our new team for the future is simply the best motivation to move forward into 2016.”

Dimension Data CEO, Brett Dawson, said: “As the title sponsor, we’re extremely proud to be part of the team’s iconic rise from one of the five wild cards teams to ride in this year’s Tour de France to World Tour status. We look forward to accelerating our journey together and continue to play a role in developing African riders into professional cyclists who will compete in some of the world’s greatest cycling events.”

Africa's Team was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. The team's goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for Qhubeka. In 2015, the team took on the challenge of getting 5000 kids mobilized with bicycles and ask for contributions to #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) is World Bicycle Relief's program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief (worldbicyclerelief.org) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since World Bicycle Relief’s founding in 2005, it has delivered more than 220,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people in need.