Brabantse Pijl has always been the transitional classic between the cobblestone classics of West Flanders, like Gent Wevelgem and Ronde Van Vlaanderen, and the more hilly classics of the Ardennes, like Flèche-Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
As the course includes paved roads and many small climbs ranging from 0.3 km to 1.5 km in length, the Qhubeka ASSOS team (TeamQhubeka.com) will start with a team suitable for varied terrain.
Sander Armee, Connor Brown, Victor Campenaerts, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Andreas Stokbro and Robert Power will be on duty for our UCI world team registered in South Africa.
Thanks to Matt and his daughter for contributing to the announcement (https://bit.ly/3ddCUD2) of our Brabantse Pijl range!
Aart Vierhouten - Sporting director
Brabantse Pijl is an interesting and exciting race, as it provides opportunities for different types of runners from potentially multiple race scenarios. What will be important for us is to be part of the race throughout the 201km, so that we have options for the final, which will take place on a very difficult and impactful lap around Overijse.
Tomorrow, the UCI World Tour peloton will face the next Flanders Classics, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, a race that was canceled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be a familiar 184km course, with plenty of paved road climbs in the last half of the race, which will set the stage for an exciting race.
The Qhubeka ASSOS team (www.TeamQhubeka.com) will look to regain the momentum gained in Gent-Wevelgem, where Giacomo Nizzolo finished 2nd, ahead of Dwars Door Vlaanderen.
The fit Nizzolo will lead our roster again, with Dimitri Claeys, Victor Campenaerts, Max Walscheid, Lasse Norman Hansen, Emil Vinjebo and Andreas Stokbro completing our roster.
Many thanks to Rudi Keyser for posting a video lineup announcement (https://bit.ly/3rBQaVI) from our Dwars Door Vlaanderen team.
Lars Michaelsen - Sporting Director
Tomorrow's race, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, gives us another opportunity to show off our jersey and colors during a key period of the cycling season. Flanders Classics can use similar routes, but each race has its own unique characteristics, depending on where and how often specific climbs and climbs are used. Tomorrow we will have more climbing towards the rear of the race, and that should define the outcome of the race.
Team Qhubeka rider Marc Pritzen (www.TeamQhubeka.com) claimed victory at the South African Road Championships in Swellendam, winning both the elite title and the Under 23 title.
On a fantastic day in the Western Cape, Nic Dlamini of the Qhubeka ASSOS team took home the bronze medal.
Pritzen, 21, currently rides for our UCI Continental team based in Lucca, Italy, and this victory saw him beat a number of professionals to claim the biggest victory of his career to date.
Former winner of the 947 Ride Joburg and 2019 Tour of Good Hope stage winner, Pritzen will now proudly wear the South African jersey upon his return to Europe.
Pritzen's success allows the Qhubeka team to own the jerseys of the South African champion as well as that of the current Ethiopian road racing champion Negasi Abreha Haylu, underlining the extremely important role this team plays in the establishment foundations and the possibility for Africa to compete. at the highest level. You can read Negasi's incredible story here - https://bit.ly/2P6zY1w.
We spoke with Marc to reflect on this special day and to see what his ambitions are for the future.
You had time to reflect on your victory, tell us about the day?
Just being back on a bike and in a racing situation, standing on a start line, feeling those racing nerves and not having run for so long, made this a unique situation, no one not really knowing where they were with their form. .
The mountain bikers did races but not us roadies, I feel like it was a bit of uncharted territory for most of us. Then we had the WorldTour riders who are still in good shape, on another level, so there were all these guys to watch out for. Having Nic run with me was something special, being in the same colors as Nic meant a lot.
Then on Sunday, of course, the highlight was the last 3 kilometers, I can't stop playing it over and over again in my head: the nerves that enter the finish line, indicate where "it 'is is that, it's now or never ”and then entering the last corner, I almost lost him there, I was overwhelmed by the group. I think there was a little carelessness - I don't know - but it put me on Willie Smit's wheel, so when he left I jumped right in and he went very strong.
At that point I looked back and saw we had a gap, forgot the pain and felt now was the time to go. There was still 800m to go so it was a pretty long sprint but I think because we had that gap it took a long time for anyone to come and fill it. Going over the top and seeing the finish line and looking back again and seeing that there was that gap was an unreal moment.
I was in disbelief as I crossed the finish line. Definitely a very special day, which I will never forget.
How did you feel to put the SA Champs Elite jersey over your head on the podium?
Getting on the podium and then being called up alongside Willie Smit and Nic Dlamini was a really very special moment. Standing on the top step, wearing the SA jersey was amazing.
Seeing my parents in front of me, who are still supporting me, just reminds me of all the hours we spent in this moment.
You will be returning to Europe with the Team Qhubeka Continental team, what will it like to be presented at the races as SA Champion?
I'm going back to Italy right away and this title will give me additional motivation to return to my continental teammates. Honestly, I don't know what it's going to be like to be represented as champion of South Africa in Europe, but I can't wait to go find out.
I was the South African Under 23 Champion and it was a huge privilege to line up in South Africa so I can't wait to see what that will do in Europe.
What was your racing experience with the Team Qhubeka Continental team and what are your ambitions for the future?
With 2020 being the year of the pandemic, I haven't run much in Europe, but the race I did definitely opened my eyes. The level there is extremely high and I feel like it was extra motivation when I returned home at the end of the year.
It gave me this chance to reanalyze things, clear things up and start building again this season, knowing now that if I want to compete in Europe, I definitely need to improve my game. Having had no races so far. now the SA Champs being my first was a bit scary moment. You can see from your (practice) numbers whether or not you've improved, but the numbers don't mean much in a race.
So for me to go into the SA championships and win it really helps and knowing the job that I have done; the mental changes I made as we approach the 2021 season have definitely paid off so far.
What are your ambitions for the rest of the season and for the future?
The objective for this year is to obtain very good results in Europe, then my final ambition for 2022 is that I would like to move up in the professional ranks.
It has been amazing to have had the opportunity to race in Europe and continue to develop, and I'm really excited for the future.
NOTE: Images in this version are courtesy of Cycling South Africa
Pritzen took the win ahead of Willie Smit (Burgos-BH), with a well-timed attack on the home stretch of the 178 km race. It was an impressive overall performance for the team, with Nicholas Dlamini winning the bronze medal for Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com).
Pritzen's road race title comes after already winning the Under-23 time trial title on Friday. With the elite and U23 categories combined for the road race, today's victory means the 21-year-old Benoni will proudly be able to show off the national jersey in all UCI events this year, as he joins the Qhubeka team in Europe for the remainder of the season.
Marc Pritzen- Cavalier
“It was a really great day today, we had a lot of wind which played a big role. The race did not go as planned, but we are very happy with the way it went, me who took the win and Nicholas Dlamini also finished on the podium. It was such an unreal feeling to cross the finish line today, and I would just like to thank the Qhubeka ASSOS team for all their support.
Qhubeka ASSOS team (TeamQhubeka.com) is very pleased to announce our partnership with premium cycling shoe brand Gaerne for 2021.
The African UCI WorldTour team, as well as our Under 23 team - Team Qhubeka - will see every rider in both outfits put on the famous brand as we compete at the highest level of sport.
This partnership is unique for this reason and is a direct testament to the unified nature of the team by ensuring that every rider will wear Gaerne for a season that sees our WorldTour team running for approximately 280 days.
Our riders will present Gaerne's latest offering, the G.STL, which sets the new benchmark for innovation, ultimate racing performance and comfort. The upper is made from a single piece of microfiber with laser drilling to provide heat dispersion and a perfect climate.
Marta Gazzola, CEO of Gaerne: “Our history with the team goes back as far as Gerald Ciolek won Milan-Sanremo in 2013 when we sponsored the team as a pro-continental outfit.
“Gaerne is honored to resume his collaboration with Team Qhubeka ASSOS; which includes some of the biggest names in the sport. What's more, what is so special is the unique message that this team has through its philosophy of Bicycles Change Lives through its association with the Qhubeka Charity, and it is also a fundamental principle for our company.
Doug Ryder, Qhubeka ASSOS Team Director: “Gaerne has supported us from the start when our team first entered the world of professional cycling and together we have achieved some of our greatest successes.
“In recent years, Gaerne has continued to partner with our UCI continental team to show their support and commitment to the development of African cycling and our program. I am really happy to welcome them back to our WorldTour team in 2021 and I want to thank our riders who have committed to a single platform of cycling shoes to support the team.
"It speaks directly to what Gaerne stands for - uncompromising quality, and our 'Ubuntu' philosophy - I am because we are."
Busby, the UK's leading micro-mobility security app, founded in Liverpool, today announced its partnership with Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com), Africa's only UCI WorldTour cycling team.
Ride safely with us, register here: https://bit.ly/38drPim
Busby, launched in November 2019 by Liverpool-born friends Barry Green, James Duffy and Kirk Ryan, aims to make cycling, along with other sports and activities, safer.
Busby, which since August 2020 has been the world's only automatic incident response app, works with your phone's sensors to keep you safe. If a user is involved in an incident, the app will start a 30 second countdown to move or respond and if there is no movement or response their exact location is sent to emergency contacts. so that help can arrive quickly.
To prevent incidents, Busby also alerts other nearby road users that a cyclist is nearby to educate them. In just one year of operation, the Busby app has been downloaded by tens of thousands of people in over 85 countries around the world.
The Qhubeka ASSOS team, formerly NTT Pro Cycling, races at the highest level of sport, which includes the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España, as well as the main stage races in the sport and the races of 'a day including the five monuments of cycling.
The organization also includes our Under 23 development team, Team Qhubeka, which is based in Italy and races under a UCI Continental license.
Not only is the team in high performance sportswear, but it's also a goal-driven organization, evidenced by its long-standing partnership with the Qhubeka Charity and the philosophy that bikes change lives.
The collaboration between Team Qhubeka ASSOS and Busby will not only allow cyclists but also the team behind them to obtain a free premium Busby subscription which offers users additional safety on the roads such as incident detection, incident prevention, the reporting of near misses and an SOS Busby. rocket function if a cyclist needs medical or mechanical support.
Douglas Ryder, Founder and Director of Team Qhubeka ASSOS, said:
“Leading a cycling team is like where business is today, a hybrid work environment where you don't physically see people every day. And then when your team or business is built with people and involves high performing individuals; Knowing where they are and whether they are safe is essential for them to do their job and for us to do ours.
“This is the reason why Team Qhubeka ASSOS is teaming up with Busby, the best cycling application for road safety, both for our staff and for the riders. This gives us peace of mind, the peace of mind of our families and makes us more responsive to medical or mechanical assistance. You are never alone with Busby.
James Duffy, co-founder of Busby, said:
“This is certainly a milestone for Busby, our first World Tour team, and we are absolutely delighted to help further protect the Qhubeka Assos team and their staff while they are on and off the road.
Road safety is a global problem and the 8th leading cause of death in the world and our mission is to help improve road safety for all vulnerable road users through our technology. Basic security features are free, and through our partnership with Team Qhubeka Assos, we want to push Busby across Africa and help protect as many people as possible.
Whether you are biking, horseback riding, walking to school or running, Busby will be by your side all the time and if (God forbid) anything irregular happens Busby will recognize it. and send your exact location to your loved ones. , emergency contacts or your employers so that help can arrive as quickly as possible.
We're excited to announce a number of new features over the next month, such as GroupSafe - keeping users together in a safe group, SmartStart - Busby turns on automatically if you're active, even if you forget to activate it and the ability for us to pay users to be safe with digital currency (stay tuned!). "
Busby is available for free download on iOS and Google Play.
The Qhubeka ASSOS team (www.TeamQhubeka.com) will start the famous Strade Bianche on Saturday. The famous Italian one-day classic of the UCI World Tour will take place for 184 km around the Sienese countryside, including numerous sections of white gravel roads.
Strade Bianche, one of the most exciting day classics of the season, will see the UCI World Tour peloton descend on the dusty white roads around Siena, for the 184 km of Strade Bianche.
In last year's edition of the race, which took place under very different circumstances in August, due to Covid-19, Michael Gogl brilliantly fought for a 9th place finish. Our Austrian specialist looks forward to his chance to come back and lead our team on the white roads of Tuscany.
Simon Clarke, our Australian road captain who showed his strong form at the Royal Bernard Drome Classic with a 5th place last week, will no doubt draw on his years of experience and the memory of finishing 8th in the edition. 2019 of Strade Bianche, to get the best possible result for the Qhubeka ASSOS team on Saturday.
Another former Strade Bianche top 10, Robert Power, will be joined by teammates Bert-Jan Lindeman, Emil Vinjebo, Mauro Schmid, Karel Vacek as they look to support Gogl and Clarke in what should be an incredible race on Saturday.
The Qhubeka ASSOS team would like to thank the British School in the Netherlands for their fantastic short video (https://bit.ly/2PAliYA), which announces our Strade Bianche 2021 team!
I think we have a really strong team here for the race and as a team we have also shown good performances in the last few races. I'm really looking forward to Saturday and I'm super motivated after a strong Strade Bianche last year. I prepared very well for this race so I feel really ready. Of course in a race like this you have to be lucky or at least not unlucky as it can influence the race a lot, punctures, mechanics etc. so we hope for the best and look forward to Saturday.
Strade Bianche is by far my favorite race of the whole year so I'm super excited for this weekend. Do it with a new team on new equipment and so far so good. I can't wait to attack him on Saturday, we have a great team here with Michael Gogl also in great shape, so I'm looking forward to working closely with him and trying to get a good result for the team.
An exciting display of offensive racing saw Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com) garner praise for their overall performance at Samyn on Tuesday, Victor Campenaerts taking home the award for most offensive rider of the day for the African UCI WorldTour team.
Despite this, there was some disappointment at the prospect of missing an even better result as sprinter Carlos Barbero was hopelessly unlucky, with a flat tire with just over 5km to go for the high-speed race to the top. final.
After the team played their part in the day's early breakaway, they infused the race with a series of relentless attacks from the hour-long world record holder Campenaerts, including a last effort a few hundred meters from the finish.
His efforts, thanks to the support of the whole team, coupled with a late push from Lukasz Wisniowski and support from Dimtri Claeys, saw the team fall terribly short of a podium place, but ultimately came out very satisfied with the overall performance of the day.
The race was won in a sprint by Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) with Claeys finishing eighth, Wisniowski 13th and Campenaerts 16th overall.
We had a very offensive run (today); in a cobblestone race having three riders in the top 16 is a very good performance.
Of course we want to win but I think it's a very good result. I also received the award for the most attractive runner, so it was a very good day for the team, and we can be proud of our fight and our efforts there.
We had a great day with the whole team and we are happy. We drove really offensively and we were able to deliver a good collective result. Having said that, I think it shows that in the races to come we can still be and become better. We always aim to go even higher and we will do it step by step.
The UCI World Tour begins this weekend with the UAE Tour that will take place between February 21 and 27. The Italian duo of Giacomo Nizzolo and Domenico Pozzovivo will lead Team Qhubeka ASSOS (TeamQhubeka.com) in the main cycling race in the Middle East.
The UAE Tour will consist of 7 stages; four of which are adapted to sprinters, two summit finishes and an individual time trial. With something for every type of rider, and as the first UCI World Tour race of the season, the UAE Tour 2021 has drawn arguably the strongest peloton in history.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS will have at the start one of the main sprinters of the race, the European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo, fresh from his victory at the Almería Clásica last weekend. Veteran climber, Domenico Pozzovivo, will aim for two stages of climbing and a solid overall result for the Qhubeka ASSOS team.
Support for our co-leaders will come in the form of Max Walscheid, Lasse Norman Hansen, Bert-Jan Lindeman, Harry Tanfield and Matteo Pelucchi.
Thanks to Matome Senyolo, one of our most loyal fans for helping with the announcement (https://bit.ly/3sd0iFp) for our UAE Tour lineup.
Aart Vierhouten - Sports Director
In our first WT race in 2021, the UAE Tour, the Qhubeka ASSOS team has two goals;
To learn from each sprint stage, working on the correct configuration of our starting gear for the benefit of our leader and sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo.
Besides the sprint stages, we also have two stages that end on a mountain, so we have our climber Domenico Pozzovivo. We will protect you during the flat stages and help you on your way to the climbs to achieve a good result also in the general.
I'm really looking forward to the UAE Tour, where the entire World Tour squad will line up for the first time this year. It is an important race for our team, Team Qhubeka ASSOS, and a great opportunity for us to show our colors and our purpose to a global cycling audience.
We already have some good feelings from the first races of the season and I feel confident with the team around me here, so we look forward to some fast and exciting sprints in the desert.
I'm looking forward to starting my season with the Qhubeka Assos team on the UAE Tour, where it will be a good change to ride in hot weather once again. The first race is always interesting to see how the legs will respond after a long period of training but for sure we will give 100% every day.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) (TeamQhubeka.com), the African UCI WorldTour team, only secured its future in the final months of 2020 and as such, compared to many of our competitors, entered the new season rapidly bringing all critical parties together to be fully operational, at the highest level, by the time racing resumes in 2021.
The team has competed in Étoile de Bessèges and Tour de la Provence, showing strong form at the beginning of the season and the culmination was a first victory for Team Qhubeka ASSOS by European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo in the Classic of Almería.
“The three races in which we have been involved, to start our season: Besseges, Provenza and Almería, represent 10 races and two overall classifications. In total, there are 12 classes, in which the Qhubeka ASSOS team has won a race and also secured another four places in the top 10 ”, says Michaelsen. "If you consider some of the financial conditions the team was in and from which we built the roster, we couldn't have realistically expected those kinds of results so soon."
Almost all the Team Qhubeka Assos riders gathered near Girona for a pre-season training camp in late January, which seems to have laid the groundwork for some of these early successes, as Michaelsen illustrates.
“From camp, where we unfortunately did not have Sergio Henao and Dylan Sunderland available, my goal was, and still is, to instill the spirit of 'One Team'. This will be a constant theme throughout the season and, in fact, fits perfectly into the core philosophy of our Ubuntu team: I am because we are. You will see that phrase stamped on all our vehicles, as well as on the neck of the racing shirts of our cyclists.
Michael Gogl finished sixth overall on a very strong course at Bessèges and Giacomo Nizzolo ran impressively; whereas in Provence there was a clearer picture of where some of our climbers are at the moment, giving us hope for races later in the season. Fittingly, it was the European and Italian champion who scored our first victory.
“Every professional team wants to win and, if possible, from the beginning of the season. With Giacomo Nizzolo's victory in the Clásica de Almería we achieved exactly that, both a good victory and an early victory. Our hope throughout the season is that we can choose our days and surprise here and there. Of course, these moments have to fall into what is reasonable to expect from our team. "
Michaelsen isn't getting ahead of himself yet and knows that experience dictates that there will be some tough challenges ahead, for which the team will be well prepared.
“Racing always highlights the areas of success and improvement. I'm happy that Douglas Ryder gave me the freedom and trusted me when we had to put together this 2021 team and I'm proud of the sports management group around me. We have a good balance between preparing and planning things, but also managing things as they come. Like most teams, we have already experienced some crashes and other setbacks, but the spirit is to keep going, which is also reflected in the feedback from our field staff regarding any needed or desired improvements that need to be made.
"That constructive feedback loop is crucial for us to try to improve things. From the three races that we ran, we pulled out some great elements that are problems that need to be solved and aspects that are very encouraging; not all of them may be obvious to the public, but how "One team", we will use them to build and improve for the season ahead. "