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.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.