Ryder Cycling today announced that South African cyclist, Louis Meintjes will return to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in 2018. Meintjes (25), placed eighth in the General Classification at the 2016 and 2017 Tour de France.
Meintjes signing further accelerates Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s ambition to take African cycling to the highest level.
Founded in 2007 by Doug Ryder, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka has notched up several milestones in the past decade. In 2013, it became Africa’s first-ever UCI-registered Professional Continental cycling team. In 2015, the team made history by becoming the first African team to compete in the Tour de France alongside four other wild-card teams. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka secured World Tour status in 2016 and signed sprinter, Mark Cavendish, whose performance during last year’s Tour de France catapulted the team to fame, when he won four stages.
Louis Meintjes – Rider
I am super excited to be coming back home to an African team, and to work with the Qhubeka charity once again. My choice to come home was easy, as Team Dimension Data stands out from other professional teams. They don’t only ride to win, but also for a more important cause – to mobilise people on bicycles in Africa. In the past two years I’ve gained tremendous experience from a European team, and I aim to use that experience to contribute to the success of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. African cycling has stepped up to a world class level over the last 5 years. I want to thank Doug Ryder and Team Dimension Data for believing in me. Together, we can take Africa’s team to the top step of the podium by 2020.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka
Louis was a part of our initial journey and we are delighted to have him rejoin our team as we embark on the next part of the team’s dream. Our aim is to podium at a grand tour and to go beyond the magic number of 100,000 bicycles distributed through the Qhubeka charity to people in communities. This team has realised the dreams of many riders and children in communities through sheer dedication, commitment and purpose and we look forward to continuing this success and strategy. We believe that Louis has the potential to stand on the top step of the podium in the World Tour stage races taking African cycling development to new heights.
Jeremy Ord – Executive Chairman, Dimension Data
We’re thrilled to have Louis back in Africa’s team. Since Dimension Data became a sponsor in 2015, and then title sponsor of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in 2016 when the team secured its World Tour status, it has achieved a number of amazing milestones.
On 18 July 2015 – Mandela Day – Steve Cummings won a stage of the Tour de France for the African team. In the 2016 Tour de France, Steve Cummings won another stage and Mark Cavendish scooped four stage wins to catapult the team to fame. In the same year, the team notched up 33 race wins, 71 podiums, 8 national championships, and a Grand Tour jersey. The team has continued to excel in 2017 with a stage win in the Giro for Omar Fraile, and a stage win in the Tour de France for Edvald Boasson Hagen.
With Louis’ track record and the experience he’s gained in Europe over the last two years, combined with the upcoming talented new signings, we believe the team is set to do great things in 2018 and beyond. We look forward to being part of that journey.