’I’m living the dream,’ says Nicholas Dlamini as Team Qhubeka name Tour de France roster
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CAPE TOWN – Team Qhubeka ASSOS made history on Friday when they announced their eight-rider roster for this year’s Tour de France.
Among the riders is South Africa’s Nicholas Dlamini, who not only makes his debut this year, but also becomes the first black South African to take part in the iconic race.
Dlamini’s selection is a landmark moment for the team as he becomes the latest rider to progress from their development team and onto the UCI WorldTour, and subsequently earn his selection to compete at the world’s biggest cycling race.
🇫🇷 #TDF2021— Team Qhubeka ASSOS (@QhubekaAssos) June 18, 2021
Our line-up [squad numbers]: @SimoClarke 🇦🇺 @MichaelGogl 🇦🇹 @VCampenaerts 🇧🇪 @MaxWalscheid 🇩🇪 @toseanandbeyond 🇺🇸 @nich_dlamini 🇿🇦 @sergiohenaoofic 🇨🇴 @FabioAru1 🇮🇹 #BicyclesChangeLives
The 25-year-old, who grew up in an informal settlement in Cape Town, first caught the eye as a runner before moving into cycling where his talents saw him move to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom.
“Being selected to ride in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me. It’s always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it makes it feel surreal,” Dlamini said on Friday.
“I think it speaks to what the team is about, the Ubuntu spirit, and how we change people’s lives because it is honestly a very special moment: to come from a small township and then to go to the Tour de France,” he continued.
An incredibly special moment as we reveal our 8 riders for @LeTour 🇫🇷!🖐️— Team Qhubeka ASSOS (@QhubekaAssos) June 18, 2021
At a difficult time for the world, it’s our shared humanity that helps us believe.
Ubuntu – I am because we are
➡️: https://t.co/2r5QuIOmUe#BicyclesChangeLives pic.twitter.com/WFm7bY1aeI
“Considering where I come from it would simply have been impossible for me to have the opportunity to ride at the Tour de France if it wasn’t for Team Qhubeka ASSOS. The platform that they’ve provided me, and other riders from Africa, to compete at the highest level in cycling has been critical.
“I really hope that this will serve as a reference of hope and inspiration to many young South Africans, and people around the world, who have been working really hard to reach their dreams, my hope is that they take from this that anything is possible.
“I want to race the tour to inspire more kids on Qhubeka bikes to follow in my footsteps and to experience the world like I have, for more kids in communities to put their hands up for bikes to work hard like I did, to dream big. I am living my dream.”