Dimension Data confirmed as new lead sponsor for MTN-Qhubeka

The ICT solutions company replaces current lead sponsor MTN, with squad to be named Team Dimension Data

Steven Cummings wins stage fourteen of the 2015 Tour de France
(Image credit: Watson)

MTN-Qhubeka have confirmed that Dimension Data will become their new lead sponsor from the start of 2016, with African team taking on the name Team Dimension Data.

The ICT solutions company had been strongly tipped to take over the sponsorship of the Pro Continental team, after South Africa based telecommunications company MTN announced it would pull its funding from the team earlier this year.

“We are incredibly excited to have Dimension Data become our new title partner," team principal Doug Ryder said on the announcement.

"It enables us to continue to support the development of African cycling and the Qhubeka charity at the highest levels in world cycling. Cycling is such a high tech sport, and we’ve leveraged technology and data through our high performance team to build the bridge from racing in Africa to competing successfully against the best in the world on the global race calendar.

"Partnering with Dimension Data supports us more in this area, and will also help us be more connected with our growing fan base around the world. This is the next step in our journey and we look forward to accelerating our collective ambitions through this partnership.”

Watch: Secrets of the toolbox - MTN-Qhubeka

MTN-Qhubeka made history in 2015, becoming the first African team to take part in the Tour de France, with Eritrean rider Daniel Teklehaimanot wearing the polka-dot King of the Mountains jersey for four days. Britain's Steve Cummings took the team's first ever Tour stage win on stage 14 of the race.

Though bicycle charity Qhubeka will dropped from the team's title, Dimension Data has confirmed that it will support the initiative to mobilise people in Africa with bikes during its partnership with the team.

The single title sponsor also means there is room for one other, with UCI rules only allowing two title sponsors for each team.

Mark Cavendish has been strongly tipped to join the squad for the 2016 season with his Etixx - Quick-Step contract expiring, but it has been reported he would need to bring on a personal sponsor in order for the team to afford his wages.

Cavendish was reportedly in talks to bring Etihad on board to the team, but that now appears to be a deal that won't be going forward.

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Richard Windsor

Follow on Twitter: @richwindy

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).