Africa’s solely top-flight skilled biking crew has discovered a brand new headline sponsor to allow it to proceed to race on the high degree.
Japanese telecommunications agency Nippon Telegraph and Phone Company (NTT) introduced in September that it could be ending its title sponsorship of the South Africa-registered UCI WorldTour crew on the finish of the 2020 season.
The crew’s founder Doug Ryder admitted to the BBC final month that “We’re struggling to maintain the lights on however at this time limit, we’re trying okay hopefully for a future accomplice.”
A brand new accomplice has now been discovered with Switzerland-based efficiency biking attire firm ASSOS stepping in to make sure the way forward for the crew.
The official new identify for the crew might be Workforce Qhubeka ASSOS, which not solely references the brand new sponsors but additionally the biking charity that Ryder’s crew have lengthy backed.
“I’m actually completely satisfied to have gained the assist of some unbelievable folks and companions together with ASSOS of Switzerland who’ve stepped in to be a headline sponsor,” Ryder stated concerning the new deal.
“To have the ability to recreate the crew as Workforce Qhubeka ASSOS talks to precisely what we proceed to try for, and that’s to be a purpose-led, high-performance racing crew.
“The previous couple of weeks have been unbelievable seeing all of the feedback from followers by way of how this crew has linked with them in several methods.
“I’m so completely satisfied we will proceed to create hope and alternative by our crew and with Qhubeka Charity.
“I stay up for welcoming new companions to Workforce Qhubeka ASSOS as we plan and put together for a brand new season in 2021 in a world that has been so closely impacted by the pandemic.
“The bicycle continues to be a device to vary the lives of so many individuals for commuting, for sport, for well being, for freedom and entry. Our crew has at all times been about far more than victories, however we do like to win.”
“I additionally need to pay a particular tribute to our employees. These within the sport know simply how tough it’s, so to see the diligence, care and professionalism they’ve proven all through offers me inspiration, daily. We actually are a household.”
The CEO of the brand new sponsors, Derek Bouchard-Corridor, can be pleased with the hyperlinks to the charity, which raises cash to offer bicycles for younger folks throughout southern Africa.
“We now have actually loved being a part of this mission pushed crew – Qhubeka’s slogan that “bicycles change lives” couldn’t encourage us extra,” he defined.
The deal comes simply weeks after a cut up between Ryder and former Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis, who joined as supervisor initially of this 12 months with hopes of shopping for a part of their WorldTour license.