Team Dimension Data will rebrand as Team NTT for the 2020 season, as their title sponsor switches name from the South African IT company to Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT).
Telecoms giant NTT actually own Dimension Data, having bought the company in 2010, so it seems the only thing that will change for the WorldTour team is its name.
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This announcement was made alongside the unveiling of two new signings, Matteo Sobrero and Samuele Battistella. The two burgeoning u23 talents have already spent a season with Dimension Data’s Continental feeder team, winning nine races between them.
Sobrero, 22, won the U23 Strade Bianche, Giro del Belvedere and the U23 Italian National Championships time trial. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Battistella’s victories include the Tour de Limpopo and the GP la Torre.
The duo take the number of riders to graduate from the Continental team into the WorldTour ranks to seven.
Dimension Data are currently riding the Tour de France, with controversy surrounding the exemption of Mark Cavendish from their line-up and the public airing of the disagreement surrounding that decision.
The team’s performance director Rolf Aldag said general manager Doug Ryder overruled him in the decision over whether to bring Cavendish to France.
“There’s no secret about it. I wanted to have him here and I think he would have suited our strategy but ultimately it was a team owner decision,” said Aldag at the start of stage one.
“It’s within my responsibility to select a team and I called eight names and Mark was included. The team owner has the right to overrule me, which he did.”
Cavendish said he was “heartbroken” at his first omission since his debut Tour in 2007, that he had been following a specific training plan, designed to see him peak in July – and felt he was in the “perfect place” to perform in France.