Qhubeka-NextHash boss provides update on team's uncertain future

The South African squad tells riders to look for new teams for 2022

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Qhubeka-NextHash boss, Doug Ryder, has given an update on his team's future going towards the 2022 season.

Ryder has said that the team is unable to submit their initial application for a UCI WorldTour licence as their sponsorship predicament continues.

The South African registered team has told their riders that they should look for new teams for the 2022 season as it is not clear that they will receive the funding to keep the team going, forcing Ryder to publicly ask for sponsorship.

In a team statement, Ryder said: "Today we are not in a position to submit our initial application for our UCI WorldTour licence for next year to the sport’s governing body.

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"We are actively engaged with potential partners, and our current partners, as we work to secure our future for 2022.

"Since inception our team has provided hope and opportunity to over 50 riders from Africa who have ridden for us at either Continental, Pro Continental or World Team levels, and as a result have had the opportunity to showcase their talent and realise their dreams."

Ryder spoke of his joy to see that Rwanda had been given the UCI Road World Championships in 2025 as a huge moment for African cycling, as well as seeing up-and-coming star from Eritrea, Biniam Ghirmay (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) take silver in the U23 Worlds road race. Ghirmay was just 14 years old when Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the mountains jersey at the Tour de France. Earlier this year the team's rider Nic Dlamini became the first black South African rider to take part in the Tour de France.

"Across our Continental and WorldTeam outfits we have staff and riders that champion our message - bicycles change lives - and enable us to be a platform to raise awareness and funds for the Qhubeka Charity," Ryder said.

"We are completely unique across the sporting landscape as a purpose-led organisation that during the course of our decade-long partnership with Qhubeka has seen our team raise over $6 million for the charity, and in the process changed thousands of lives."

Qhubeka-NextHash, then MTN-Qhubeka, made their Grand Tour debut at the Tour de France in 2015 as a wildcard team, but had already made an impact on the world stage by winning the Monument Milan-San Remo with German Gerald Ciolek in 2013.

Since then, the team has won some top level races with great riders, such as Mark Cavendish's four stage wins at the 2016 Tour de France as well as at the Giro d'Italia with Mauro Schmid, Giacomo Nizzolo and Victor Campenaerts in 2021.

"We remain confident that our story is not complete, our journey will carry on, to continue to change lives through bicycles," added Ryder.

"I have always said that our dream for this team would be to see a young person from Africa, who starts their journey on a Qhubeka bike, one day race on cycling’s most famous road – the Champs-Élysées. That will see the dream fully realised."

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