Cape Town - Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has announced the addition of three new riders; Ben King, Scott Thwaites and Lachlan Morton.
King will bolster the team’s American contingent. Having his European base in Lucca, he is no stranger to our training centre in Tuscany. Over the last three years the 27-year-old has been riding for Cannondale-Drapac, with stage wins at the Amgen Tour of California and the Criterium International being his major results. He also showed strong performances as a vital helper to his captains in several stage races.
Also joining will be Thwaites. The 26-year-old British rider gained experience in the professional peloton over the last four years while competing for Bora-Argon18. Thwaites had a very strong spring campaign in 2016 that saw him barely finish outside the top 20 of the most prestigious cobbled classics. He will add depth to our squad come these races.
The third new rider is Australian Morton. At only 24 years of age he is the youngest of the trio. After making his debut with Garmin-Sharp in 2012 he continued racing with a focus on the US scene. This year has been his most successful to date. He won two stages and the overall of the Tour of Utah, and was also able to secure the overall classification of the Tour of Gila. He will be a valuable rider in shorter stage races and in the high mountains.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
It is a real pleasure to
bring these super talented riders and great people into Team Dimension Data for
Qhubeka. Ben King had an incredible La Vuelta showing great depth and
consistency and we see Ben taking a leadership role in mentoring and leading
our climber group of riders based out of our training centre in Lucca. Key to
that group is Lachlan Morton who we believe can shine in the high mountains in
stage races across the World and give the team extra performance opportunities.
In the Classics this season we were always looking for an additional strong
rider to give us that extra kick and we are really pleased Scott Thwaites will
join our African team. The Classics are a beautiful part of cycling’s history
that we would like to excel in and Scott will bolster our line-up and chances.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka feels like the perfect environment to grow as an athlete and as a person. The team races with guts and everyone gets opportunities. On top of that I already have good friends on the team. I love to race my bike for the pleasure and beauty of it, the lifestyle it encourages, and the people and places I get to build relationships with through it. However, as I’ve matured as a rider, I’ve found that motivation and drive hinge more on “why” than on “what” we do. Promoting and professionally representing Qhubeka gives my involvement in cycling another higher purpose and fills me with pride.
After steadily improving
over the last 4 years in the classics and beginning to break into the top 20, I
was looking for a team with some experienced classics riders and knowledgeable
directors to help me continue to improve. I am really looking forward to
supporting Edvald Boasson Hagen in the classics whilst learning from him and
Sports Directors like Roger Hammond to enable me to also fight for top results.
The team has a great rider support network which will help me make small gains
in my performance which I hope will translate into results. In addition to
focusing on the classics, being part of a team with great champions like Mark
Cavendish gives me great motivation to help the team achieve many victories
Having been brought up with a privileged life in the UK, I took things like getting good education, access to sport and available transport for granted. Seeing the plight of African children who are giving up on their education as the journey by foot to school is too arduous, is very saddening. By supporting the Qhubeka project and enabling these children to get to school by bike, stay in education for longer and follow their dreams, as I have mine, is a great honour.
I really wanted to join Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka to realise my dream of being highly competitive at the top level of cycling. This team has excited me since its inception and to be able to be a part of it is incredible. For me the bike is the most incredible tool and I can’t imagine a life without one. I’m so happy to be able to support Qhubeka and help those who need it most realise the incredible potential of the bicycle.