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The teams selection for Paris-Nice, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour announced: MTN-Qhubeka will be there!

Added: wednesday 14 January 2015 at 23:20:00
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    The teams selection for Paris-Nice, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour announced: MTN-Qhubeka will be there!

    ... and some quotes from MTN-Qhubeka, Bora-Argon 18 and Bretagne-Séché Environnement

    In 53, 144 and 171 days, Paris-Nice 2015 and respectively the Critérium du Dauphiné 2015 and the Tour de France 2015 will start (Paris-Nice in Maurepas, the Tour de France in Utrecht in The Netherlands).


    This Wednesday the different teams selected to participate in these UCI WorldTour races have been announced and the big news is that MTN-Qhubeka will be the first African team to participate in the Tour de France!

    The selected teams for Paris-Nice 2015

    Paris-Nice 2015 will take place from Sunday 8 till Sunday 15 March between Maurepas and Nice. Since it's a UCI WorldTour race, the 17 UCI WorldTeams are sure of their participation and 3 other teams have been invited with a wildcard. These teams are the 3 French Continental Pro teams, Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cofidis, solutions crédits and Team Europcar. This makes a total of 20 teams in Paris-Nice in 2015:
    The 17 UCI WorldTeams 2015
    +
    The wildcards for Paris-Nice 2015

    The selected teams for the Critérium du Dauphiné 2015

    The Critérium du Dauphiné 2015 will take place from Sunday 7 till Sunday 14 June 2015, apparently with a start from Albertville and still clinching with the Tour of Switzerland which will start on Saturday 13 June 2015.

    In this second long stage race organised by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.), the Bretagne-Séche Environnement team will not be present, but two foreign teams complete the wildcards awarded to the Cofidis and Europcar teams. These teams are the German Bora-Argon 18 team (the new name for Team NetApp-Endura which already participated in the Critérium du Dauphiné and in the Tour de France in 2014) and the South-African MTN-Qhubeka team.

    In total there will thus be 21 teams participating in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2015:
    The 17 UCI WorldTeams 2015
    +
    The wildcards for the Critérium du Dauphiné 2015

    The selected teams for the Tour de France 2015

    In the Tour de France 2015 all these wildcards teams for Paris-Nice and for the Critérium du Dauphiné will participate, which will bring the total number of teams to 22:
    The 17 UCI WorldTeams 2015
    +
    The wildcards for the Tour de France 2015

    The comments from MTN-Qhubeka, the first ever African team in the Tour de France in 2015

    The MTN-Qhubeka team says this is a dream come true and underlines that this is a historic moment for World and African cycling.

    Douglas Ryder, the team principle shares his reaction when he learned the news:
    • When I received a text message from Christian Prudhomme saying welcome to the Tour de France asking me to call him back, I simply could not contain myself, I shouted to my wife and then things started going crazy. I have been waiting my whole life for this news. The pressure over the years of getting partners and riders to believe in this dream is finally a reality. We have so many people to thank that have been a part of this journey and I know our riders and staff will be the most motivated team in the world right now ahead of our 2nd training camp starting this weekend. We will not only ride in the Tour, we will compete and we will have the support of the whole continent behind us.


    Brian Smith, the manager of the team added:
    • I feel extremely proud to be part of a bit of African Cycling History. Its been a lot of hard work from many people and today has been very emotional when it was confirmed we would ride the Tour de France. This is a new chapter for MTN-Qhubeka and we hope there will be many more chapters to come. This team is about making a difference and we are looking forward going to the Tour and making sure we make all our partners and supporters happy.

    If you'd like to get more information about the MTN-Qhubeka which already participated in the Tour of Spain in 2014, you can read the articles in the Behind the scenes of MTN-Qhubeka section of velowire.com, written by Rob Child, the nutritionist of the South-African team.

    The comments from the Bora-Argon 18 team

    For the German Bora-Argon 18 team, this will not be the first participation in the Tour de France since the team already participated last year, under the name Team NetApp-Endura, when Leopold König took the 7th place in the general classification for this team.

    Despite that, Ralph Denk, the manager of the team, talks about a dream come true, adding:
    • A return to the Tour de France was our primary goal for this season. It was ambitious, but we have achieved it. I would like to thank ASO for the early announcement of the invitation, because we now have six months to prepare our team optimally

      Denk also added: We are stronger now that we have been joined by Dominik Nerz, currently Germany's best classification rider. With Dominik we intend to compete for a top-10 position in the general classification and thus give German fans the opportunity to get excited even during the mountain stages

    The comments from Bretagne-Séché Environnement

    The French Bretagne-Séché Environnement team got invited to participate in Paris-Nice and in the Tour de France 2015, just like last year. For Emmanuel Hubert, the manager of the team, his team is now a real player in the international cycling scene:
    • We are very happy for the whole team. We couldn't imagine a better start of our 2015 season. Our riders will start riding in ten days in the Tour de San Luis, in Argentina. This invitation for the Tour de France 2015 is a strong message for all of us and our partners. It will give us additional energy to be even more professional and performing between now and July, in order to start the Tour with ambitious goals.
      I would like to thank Amaury Sport Organisation and its managers for the trust they put in us. This invitation is the proof that we've left a good impression in 2014 for our first participation, and that we are now a real player in the international cycling scene.


      Emmanuel Hubert doesn't forget to mention the Tour will visit the region where the team comes from: The Tour 2015 will spend three days in Brittany this summer, of course we think about that, that is important for us and for those who support us, before he mentions the goals which will be even higher than before:
      We will have to become real actors of the international circuit. In July we'll have to target one or more stage victories in the Tour. This is completely in line with what we told our riders in the past few months and they'll thus give all they have to find a place among the 9 riders selected to participate in the Tour. Only the best riders, from January till June, will participate in the Tour. And they know that. Today, with a motivated staff to provide them the best possible conditions, they have all they need to show what they're worth. It's up to them.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour de France| Tour de France 2015| Paris-Nice| Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré| Paris-Nice 2015| Critérium du Dauphiné 2015 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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