On Tuesday, 23 July 2013, Deputy High Commissioner Martin Reynolds spoke at the send-off breakfast for the cyclists from MTN-Qhubeka, Africa’s first ever UCI registered Professional Continental cycling team in Johannesburg. The team will be participating in the Prudential Ride London Classic in August and the Tour of Britain in September.
Qhubeka, meaning ‘carry on’, ‘progress’, to ‘move forward’ helps people by giving away bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. The organisation has distributed more than 40 000 bicycles since 2005 vastly improving the lives of the people in the communities in which they work.
The athletes in the team race to build exposure for Qhubeka’s rural initiatives and ride to inspire potential new athletes within the community of Qhubeka bike recipients. The team is made up of Gerald Ciolek, winner of Milan Sanremo 2013; Jay Thomson, South African Road Race Champion 2013; Songezo Jim, first Black South African to race in a Wold Tour cycling event and Adrien Niyonshuti, Rwandan Olympic Team Flag bearer at the London Olympic Games and the first Black African in Olympic history to finish the mountain bike event.