Africa’s Most Accomplished Cycling Team: MTN–Qhubeka

Africa’s Most Accomplished Cycling Team: MTN–Qhubeka

Who Are MTN–Qhubeka?

If you’ve been keeping up to date on cycling, you may or may not already know the answer to this question. MTN–Qhubeka is a South African cycling team that’s found a lot of international success over the last decade, showing their ability to show up and win around the world.

History of MTN–Qhubeka

In 2007, cyclists from South Africa decided to try to start a UCI Continental Team. They succeeded in 2008 when the team was officially recognized, and by 2012 they became the first team in all of Africa to receive a Professional Continental Team license. This license was for the 2013 season, in which they were able to show their true skill and excel past expectations around the world.

Brian Smith was signed on as the general manager in 2014, bringing along with him a Cervelo sponsorship for bikes, as well as a host of unexpected, yet significant signings to the team.

Also in 2014, the team began to compete in a lot more international races in both Africa and Europe, collecting a number of first place finishes along the way. These good results ending up helping MTN–Qhubeka to make history once again, by being the first African team to ever qualify for and compete in the Tour de France.

This first happened in 2015, and 2 riders from the team managed to place first in separate stages of the competition. They also raced in the 2016 Tour de France, in which they experienced a lot more success than in 2015.

Sponsorships and Team Name Changes in 2015

After the great season in 2015, the cycling team announced a change of sponsors, which came with the latest of a series of name changes. The team is not called Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, rather than the still commonly used name MTN–Qhubeka.

This isn’t the teams’ first, as it has experienced several since it was founded in 2007 as “MTN”. It progressed on from that to Team MTN, MTN Cycling, MTN – Energade, MTN–Qhubeka, and finally the current name Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. The inclusion of Qhubeka in the new name is to show that the team supports this charity organization, while it receives funding from Dimension Data.

Major Accomplishments for MTN–Qhubeka

This cycling team boasts a lot of wins around the continents of Africa and Europe, but the riders also made history in 2015 by being the first African cycling team to compete in the Tour de France. This is a special accomplishment for the team, and it has put them into a more international spotlight.

MTN–Qhubeka is very consistent in taking home the gold in African cycling competitions. They have years of history winning significant races and time trials in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, and South Africa. In recent years, the team has also been winning in Europe, specifically in Austria, Norway, and Belarus.

In 2016, this cycling team made history again by becoming the first African team to join cycling’s top division when they were granted their UCI World Tour license.