Amstel Gold Race winner signs two-year contract with African squad

Dimension Data have confirmed that Michael Valgren has signed a contract to ride with them for two years from 2019.

The Dane has spent the last two seasons at Astana, having ridden with the now defunct Tinkoff team for three years before that. At just 26, Valgren has already developed into one of the most all-round talents in the professional peloton, supporting GC riders like Jakob Fuglsang on the climbs in stage races, as well as taking major Classic victories for himself at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Amstel Gold Race this year. Valgren also finished just off the podium in fourth place at the Tour of Flanders in April.

Valgren is likely to head up a reinforced Dimension Data Classics squad, with the team struggling to feature heavily this year with Edvald Boasson Hagen leading the line in the one-day races. The South African team will switch from Cervélo to ride BMC bikes next season, after the Swiss brand finished its deal with eponymous team.

“I’m extremely excited to be joining Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,” Valgren said.

“It’s a big opportunity for me to go to a team that’s keen on really building its Classics squad. I really look forward to working with the guys on the team and I see a big future there for myself.

“I’m also really proud to join the team because of what it stands for: its mission to distribute bicycles through the Qhubeka charity. It’s a super-cool mission and I’m really looking forward to being a part of that.

“Right now I can’t wait for 2019 to get going on my new BMC bike, which is obviously also really important these days – the equipment. In that regard Team Dimension Data is right on top of things so I’m sure there will be some great, great years ahead.”

“Michael joining us is a huge coup for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka,” team principal Doug Ryder said.

“He’s been one of the stand-out riders in 2018, with his victories early on in the year backed up by really strong performances at the Critérium du Dauphiné and at the Tour de France.

“Michael signing is another step in our journey to the top of the sport in particular gives a major boost to our Classics campaign, where he showed such good form earlier in the year.”