NTT Pro Cycling have announced their new headline sponsors, bringing an end to the uncertainty around their future.
From 2021 the squad will race under the name Team Qhubeka-Assos, as the two names already involved in the outfit step up their sponsorship.
The team has supported Qhubeka, a not-for-profit organisation that donates bike to communities in South Africa, since 2011 and has helped raise the profile and money for the cause.
Swiss cycling clothing brand Assos came on board as a kit sponsor for NTT Pro Cycling, formerly Dimension Data, in 2019 and has now stepped up as main backer.
Assos CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall said: “We have really enjoyed being part of this mission driven team – Qhubeka’s slogan that ‘bicycles change lives’ could not inspire us more. And Assos has always been and continues to be deeply entwined in professional cycling – we were really moved by the opportunity to support the sport during the Covid crisis by keeping this important team part of the pro peloton.”
The team has faced a tough year as Japan-based telecommunications company NTT is bringing its cycling sponsorship to an end after six years, leaving team boss Doug Ryder searching for a new headline sponsor.
Team manager Bjarne Riis has also left after just one season, having joined the squad at the start of 2020 when Riis and his business partners became minority shareholders in NTT Pro Cycling.
While it looked like time was running out for the South African WorldTour team, Ryder has been able to secure the squad’s future once again.
He said: “I am really happy to have gained the support of some incredible people and partners including Assos of Switzerland who have stepped in to be a headline sponsor.
“To be able to recreate the team as Team Qhubeka-Assos talks to exactly what we continue to strive for, and that is to be a purpose-led, high-performance racing team.
“The last few weeks have been incredible seeing all the comments from fans in terms of how this team has connected with them in different ways. I am so happy we can continue to create hope and opportunity through our team and with Qhubeka Charity.”