Nic Dlamini will make his Tour de France debut in July 2021. Photo: Team Qhubeka ASSOS
Twenty months after Nic Dlamini’s arm was snapped by overzealous Table Mountain rangers while training, the young South African will make his Tour de France debut.
The Qhubeka Assos team – the African team competing in the elite pelotons of the cycling world – announced their eight-man squad on Friday for the 2021 Tour de France, the sport’s biggest race. And Nic Dlamini’s name was on the list for the first time.
The 25-year-old will make history as the first black South African to make the Tour, although it has always been a question of when, not ‘if’ for the Cape man.
His career on the Tour de France was not without setbacks and challenges, especially the Table Mountain Incident. The recovery from this injury suffered in December 2019 coincided with the Covid-19 epidemic. Dlamini also became a father during this time, moved to Holland to complete rehab, and then moved to Spain. It was anything but easy.
Dlamini first gained public attention as a rider before embarking on cycling where his talents led him to join the UCI World Cycling Center Africa in Potchefstroom.
It was there that he secured a place in the UCI continental team of Qhubeka, based in Lucca, Italy.
In his second season with the Continental team, Dlamini rode as trainee (trainee) in the SA WorldTour team. He turned professional in 2018. Since then he has raced around the world, including twice at the Vuelta a España (2019 and 2020) and has worn the King of the Mountains jersey at the Tour Down Under and the Tour de Grande- Brittany.
“To be selected to participate in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me,” said Dlamini. “It has always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it, it feels surreal to me.
“I think it speaks to the essence of the team, the ubuntu spirit and how we change people’s lives because it’s honestly a very special moment: coming from a small town and then going on the Tour de France.
“Considering where I come from, it would have been quite simply impossible for me to have the opportunity to participate in the Tour de France without Team Qhubeka Assos. The platform they provided to me and other African riders to compete at the highest level in cycling has been essential.
“I really hope this serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration to many young South Africans and people all over the world, who have worked very hard to make their dreams come true, I hope they will gain from it. that anything is possible.
“I want to take part in the Tour to inspire more kids on Qhubeka bikes to follow in my footsteps and discover the world like I did, so that more kids in communities raise their hands for bikes to work hard. like I did, to dream big. I’m living my dream. “
Dlamini has also been selected for the South African squad for the Tokyo Olympics, which begins days after the end of the Tour de France in Paris on July 18. The ideal scenario for the team is that Dlamini is in the sprint for the line on the Champs Elysees, which falls on Mandela Day.
It was a year of changes and demands for the all-rounder, who should play the role of “domesticated(The team’s “workaholic”) in the Qhubeka-Assos team. Dlamini’s main role will be to embark on breakaways on selected stages and use his natural aggressive handling in those scenarios. He will also be a vital ally of team captains Michael Gogl and Simon Clarke.
“What a moment for Nic; his story is just amazing and the fact that he earned this opportunity shows that dreams really come true, and the fact that the team provided this opportunity makes me incredibly proud, ”said team principal Doug Ryder.
“He has always been an individual who outdid himself and seized the opportunities he fought for; and he will do it again when he lines up at the start of Brest on the biggest stage of sport in front of the world.
“It will culminate in an incredible time for him, South Africa and especially for our team. His selection says a lot about what we have created and built with this team by providing hope, opportunity and ultimately the bounty. -form to be on the biggest stage of all, the Tour de France.
Stage wins the target for the Africa team
The unique structure of cycling sees most riders on a team sacrifice their personal ambitions for the overall team leader, or other riders with skills such as sprinting and climbing high mountains, which match the needs of the team. team goals on a particular stage.
Although Qhubeka Assos does not have riders with the necessary qualifications to win the three week stage race, their goals will be to win some individual stages.
They won three stages of the recent Giro d’Italia and the bulk of this group prepared for the Tour de France at altitude in Andorra.
Giro stage winners Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) and Max Walscheid (Germany) are both in the lineup and the duo have shown they have the speed to win on the hilly and flat stages.
Italian mountaineer Fabio Aru, who turns 31 on the Tour, will face some of the big climbs. He is a racing cyclist who finished fifth in the 2017 Tour de France and wore the yellow jersey (yellow leader’s jersey) for two days.
Given that the final week of the Tour features two high mountain stages in the Pyrenees, including an iconic finish in Luz Ardiden via the Col du Tourmalet at 2,115 meters above sea level, Aru could fight for a stage victory. If the overall contenders are involved in a tactical battle to look at each other, it could allow Aru to attack.
“The Tour de France is a race that I love, and in 2021 it will be a race that I will tackle with my teammates in the true spirit of ubuntu,” said Aru.
“We have seen the way the team has raced this year, and in particular at the Giro d’Italia, and we are looking forward to continuing on the same path.
We will look to run aggressively throughout and aim for stage wins. DM
Qhubeka-Assos Team Composition of the Tour de France 2021
Simon Clarke – Australia
Michael Gogl – Austria
Victor Campenaerts – Belgium
Max Walscheid – Germany
Sean Bennett – United States
Nic Dlamini – South Africa
Sergio Henao – Colombia
Fabio Aru – Italy
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This notice was published: 2021-06-18 13:33:42