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Behind the scenes with Africa's first Pro-Continental team and an outfit whose mission goes beyond winning bike races...

Although it's barely started this year's Tirreno Adriatico has already seen one significant landmark passed, no not Cav pulling the race leader's jersey on after a time trial, but the inclusion of Team MTN-Qhubeka the first African cycling team ever to start a WorldTour event. This short film takes a behind the scenes look at the team at Tirreno Adriatico and explains more about social mission which also sets them apart from the run-of-the-mill pro sports team.

That mission is to help alleviate poverty in rural African communities by giving children bikes in return for working on green projects such as planting trees. Giving access to transport helps to unlock a whole raft of opportunities for rural Africans. You can find out more about the foundation's work on its website www.qhubeka.org and in the second video about the team below. The MTN in the team's name is their other major sponsor a leading South African telecoms company. 

The team, which was founded in 2007, gained Pro-Continental status in November last year - the first African team to do so also has a wild card entry in to Milan San Remo. They've already made their mark in some of the early season races too with Gerald Ciolek - the team's best known rider taking the final stage of the Three Days of West Flanders.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.

6 comments

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pmr [196 posts] 2 years ago
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They need some black riders. That would be good for them.

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dbb [34 posts] 2 years ago
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they have got black riders on the team

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LondonCalling [149 posts] 2 years ago
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So, if they have black riders on the team, why didn't they appear in this video? It's an African team!!!

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koosiegreen [48 posts] 2 years ago
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Coming from south africa, its filled me with pride to see these guys come so far. It will only get bigger from here on in.
More races will be won by the boys in yellow.
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dave atkinson [6139 posts] 2 years ago
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dbb wrote:

they have got black riders on the team

They've got the excellently named Songezo Jim for a start

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maldin [83 posts] 2 years ago
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LondonCalling wrote:

So, if they have black riders on the team, why didn't they appear in this video? It's an African team!!!

This is one of many videos on YouTube in which many of the team's riders, both foreign and African, are interviewed... and a number of them are black, but as I am sure you know, not all Africans are black either...