The end of the road looms for Qhubeka-NextHash as the UCI refuses the license
Qhubeka-NextHash, the UCI WorldTeam dubbed “Africa’s Team” who has combined over a decade of racing and helped change people’s lives by providing them with bikes, seems to have reached the end of the road after the governing body world cycling team confirmed today that it has denied him a license for next season.
The news almost certainly means that the team, which this year won four stages of the Giro d’Italia with four different riders, will stop racing.
The UCI had given the registered training in South Africa led by Doug Ryder an extension of the registration process to allow him to try and get enough support to continue, but the time is now up.
In a statement, the UCI declared: “After hearing the teams which could not be registered directly by the UCI, the Licenses Commission decided (art. 2.15.071) to refuse the registration of the Team Qhubeka NextHash.
Last year, only a late sponsorship deal with Swiss-based clothing company Assos allowed the team to continue racing in 2021.
A new sponsor, NextHash, was unveiled in the summer, but the team continues to be in dire financial straits, with missed salaries for staff and runners, the latter being told they are free to seek contracts elsewhere.
Partly because of its association with the Qhubeka charity, through which it has provided 30,000 bikes to people in Africa, transforming their lives by making it easier for them to get to school or work, or even Building businesses, the team quickly became a fan favorite after advancing to the UCI professional continental level in 2013.
A historic victory came in March of the same year when German sprinter Gerald Ciolek won an edition interrupted by the snow of Milan-San Remo that will be remembered for a long time.
A first stage victory on the Tour de France, in the team’s first participation, came two years later when Steve Cummings claimed the solo victory on stage 14 on July 18, 2015 – Mandela Day.
Mark Cavendish won four Tour de France stages for the team in 2016 – including the opening in Normandy that put him in the yellow jersey – with Cummings also winning a stage that year, and Edvald Boasson Hagen, the rider with the most wins in the colors team, took another in 2017.
There has been no official reaction from the team yet, but in mid-October, team principal Ryder wrote about his predicament on his website:
Today we are unable to submit our initial UCI WorldTour license application for next year to the sport governing body.
We are actively engaged with potential partners and our current partners, as we work to secure our future for 2022.
Since its creation, our team has given hope and opportunity to more than 50 African riders who have raced for us at the Continental, Pro Continental or World Team levels, and have thus had the opportunity to show their talent and make their dreams come true.
The recent announcement that Rwanda will host the 2025 World Championships is an important moment for our sport, and we are very proud of the role we have played for Africa, its cycling potential and as a destination to ride. . To see Biniam Ghirmay of Eritrea finish 2nd at the U23 World Championships this year was incredible. He was only 14 years old when Daniel Teklehaimanot wore the King of the Mountain jersey during the Tour de France 2015 with our team. Their stories, as well as Nicholas Dlamini’s journey from the Cape Townships to the Tour de France, are inspiring.
In our Continental and World Team outfits, we have staff and riders who champion our message – bikes change lives – and allow us to be a platform to raise awareness and fundraise for the Qhubeka charity.
We are completely unique in the sports landscape as a goal-driven organization which, during our ten-year partnership with Qhubeka, has seen our team raise over $ 6 million for the charity and in doing so , has changed thousands of lives.
We remain convinced that our story is not over, our journey will continue, to continue to change lives through cycling.
I have always said that our dream for this team would be to see a young African, who starts his journey on a Qhubeka bike, one day run on cycling’s most famous road – the Champs Elysees. This will see the dream fully realized.
If you, or someone in your business network, would like to join our team and continue to change lives, please contact us here. Thank you for your support.
Ubuntu- I am because we are.
In the fall of 2013, immediately after the announcement of the route of the Tour de France the following year at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, we stopped for a coffee in a bar on the way back to the Champs-Elysées. – the same bar where Ryder went.
He was in Paris trying to convince ASO to give the team a wildcard for the 2014 race – they wouldn’t get one – but over coffee he laid out his vision not only for the future of the team, but also how it could act as a catalyst for the change of cycling in Africa not only as a sport, but more importantly to provide a life-changing form of transport for people who could not otherwise be offer a bicycle.
In an era where many top teams are now sponsored by companies active in fossil fuels, this vision and philosophy will be missed.