Coming off an incredibly successful Tour de France, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will take on its third Grand Tour this year by starting the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday, 20 August in Ourense. Our African team will arrive at the start with clear goals and a defending champion in the Mountains competition.
Basque, Omar Fraile (pictured below), will lead the team into his home Grand Tour and will once again be eyeing the King of the Mountains competition. He won this classification 12 months ago and is taking to the start as one of the favourites for the blue-dotted white jersey. Fraile, who also wore the KOM jersey at the Giro d’Italia earlier this year, underlined his strong form at the Vuelta a Burgos a couple of days ago by winning the KOM competition.
Another strong climber who showed that he is coming into shape is fellow Basque, Igor Anton. He finished the Vuelta a Burgos in 9th place overall as the team’s best finisher. Anton is a former Vuelta a Espana stage winner and also managed to finish the race inside the top 10 on two occasions. He’ll add plenty of experience to the team in the coming weeks.
Two riders who will try to feed off that experience are our African talents Jacques Janse van Rensburg (pictured below) and Merhawi Kudus. The 2015 South African road race champion, Janse van Rensburg, played a key role in the team’s recent success in the build-up races to the Vuelta and will be an important rider once the road gradient kicks up. Eritrean, Kudus, will start the 4th Grand Tour of his career and try to leave his mark on the tougher stages.
Our African team’s philosophy is to try and shine on every kind of terrain to give our #BicycleChangeLives
Venter will share the role of being Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s road captain in Spain with Tyler Farrar. The experienced American, who has won stages in all three Grand Tours, will be the team’s conductor when it counts on the flat stages and he’ll try to pilot Kristian Sbaragli to another Vuelta a Espana stage win. The Italian’s lead-out will be rounded out by young South African Nic Dougall, who will ride his first Grand Tour.
This year’s Vuelta route will offer 7 flat stages, 7 hilly stages, 5 mountain stages and 2 challenges against the clock, of which one is the opening team time trial.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka – Vuelta a Espana
Omar Fraile [ESP – Link]
Igor Anton [ESP – Link]
Jacques Janse van Rensburg [RSA – Link]
Merhawi Kudus [ERI – Link]
Nathan Haas [AUS – Link]
Jaco Venter [RSA – Link]
Tyler Farrar [USA – Link]
Kristian Sbaragli [ITA – Link]
Nic Dougall [RSA – Link]