Dlamini de SA will go down in the history of the Tour de France
Nicholas Dlamini in action during the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia.
Nicholas Dlamini will become the first black South African to compete in the Tour de France when the race kicks off on Saturday June 26 after the Qhubeka ASSOS team included the 25-year-old Captain in their roster.
Dlamini came to the UCI World Cycling Center Africa in Potchefstroom to learn his skills in the development team after joining Qhubeka at their Italian base in Lucca.
“To be selected to participate in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me,” said Dlamini, who turned pro three years ago.
“Considering where I come from, it would simply have been impossible for me to have the opportunity to participate in the Tour de France without Team Qhubeka ASSOS.”
Professional cyclist, Nicholas Dlamini.
“It has always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it, it feels surreal to me,” the runner, who once had the ambition to be a runner, told the website of the team.
“I think it’s about what the team is, the Ubuntu spirit, and how we’re changing people’s lives because it’s honestly a very special moment: coming from a small town and then go to the Tour de France, “said the man who has competed twice in La Vuelta and will also compete in the Olympics with the South African team.
“Considering where I am from, it simply would have been impossible for me to have the opportunity to participate in the Tour de France without the Qhubeka ASSOS team,” said Dlamini, who added that he hoped that he could be a source of inspiration for young South Africans.
“His story is just amazing and the fact that he deserved this opportunity shows that dreams really come true, and the fact that the team provided this opportunity makes me incredibly proud.”
Team director Douglas Ryder.
Team principal Douglas Ryder hailed an “incredibly special” moment as the team was unveiled to include Dlamini.
“His story is just amazing and the fact that he earned this opportunity shows that dreams really come true, and the fact that the team provided this opportunity makes me incredibly proud.
“His selection speaks to all that we have created and built with this team, offering hope, an opportunity and ultimately the platform to be on the biggest stage of them all, the Tour de France.”
The team will make their seventh Tour appearance after their debut in 2015 and so far have seven stage victories. Qhubeka will field two other Tour beginners: the American Sean Bennett, 25, and the Belgian Victor Campenaerts. The roster also includes former Vuelta champion Fabio Aru of Italy, Colombian Sergio Henao and Australian Simon Clarke.