Douglas Ryder, the South African founder of NTT Pro Cycling has announced the next step in their team’s incredible journey, which sees them partner with performance cycling apparel brand, ASSOS of Switzerland, to create Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Since founding the team, Ryder’s ultimate dream has been to use the profile and success the team has developed on cycling’s global stage to promote its purpose: changing lives through bicycles together with Qhubeka Charity.
This call to action has been keenly felt by riders, staff, partners and fans across the world and has seen the team raise funds for more than 30,000 bicycles for distribution to Qhubeka programmes in South Africa.
From 2021, the team – which has formerly ridden as MTN, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka and most recently NTT Pro Cycling – will further advance this movement by racing to raise awareness of the mobility challenges that occur throughout communities in Africa.
Team Principal Douglas Ryder said: “I am really happy to have gained the support of some incredible people and partners including ASSOS of Switzerland who have stepped in to be a headline sponsor. To be able to recreate the team as Team Qhubeka ASSOS talks to exactly what we continue to strive for, and that is to be a purpose-led, high-performance racing team. The last few weeks have been incredible seeing all the comments from fans in terms of how this team has connected with them in different ways. I am so happy we can continue to create hope and opportunity through our team and with Qhubeka Charity.
“I look forward to welcoming new partners to Team Qhubeka ASSOS as we plan and prepare for a new season in 2021 in a world that has been so heavily impacted by the pandemic. The bicycle continues to be a tool to change the lives of so many people for commuting, for sport, for health, for freedom and access. Our team has always been about much more than victories, but we do love to win.”
“I also want to pay a special tribute to our staff. Those in the sport know just how difficult it is, so to see the diligence, care and professionalism they’ve shown throughout gives me inspiration, every day. We truly are a family,” Ryder concluded.
Derek Bouchard-Hall, CEO of ASSOS, said: “We have really enjoyed being part of this mission driven team – Qhubeka’s slogan that “bicycles change lives” could not inspire us more. And ASSOS has always been and continues to be deeply entwined in professional cycling – we were really moved by the opportunity to support the sport during the COVID crisis by keeping this important team part of the pro peloton.”
Roche Maier, ASSOS, Board Member, said“We love the mission, the people and the challenge that comes with it. We are made in cycling and contributing to support and further develop the pinnacle of high-performance cycling is just the proper thing to do, especially in these uncertain times.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is not a traditional sponsorship but will be operated as the lighthouse of the Assos Worksteam. Our team will be used and abused to push boundaries of product development and stress tests to yet another level. We thank Douglas for the opportunity.”
Tsatsi Phaweni, Qhubeka Executive Director, said: “Qhubeka has developed a relationship with Doug Ryder and his team that spans more than a decade and is founded on our shared belief that bicycles change people’s lives for the better.
We have huge respect for all they have achieved to date and look forward to continuing to cheer them on in 2021 and beyond. We remain grateful for their continued support of our work and for all their efforts to raise funds and awareness for Qhubeka, along with their fans, sponsors and the broader cycling community. Together, we can change more lives with bicycles, and so we wish them every success.”