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Preview: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad & Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne

This weekend will see the start of the cobbled spring classics when the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne take place on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Both of these Belgian classics, just like all the others, are renowned for their harsh racing conditions: cold wet weather, wind, small roads, cobbled climbs and a big bunch. The racing is expected to be intense and unforgiving, a spectators dream.

The Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung riders are up for the challenge this weekend as a successful spring classics campaign is one of the teams definite season goals. A positive start this weekend will set the team up nicely for the slightly more arduous classics to come.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will have 9 riders on hand this weekend with the final rosters for each race being determined closer to the race start. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Gerald Ciolek, Tyler Farrar, Theo Bos, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Kristian Sbaragli, Youcef Reguigui, Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter and Matt Brammeier are the riders hoping to show their hand at least one of the weekend’s races.

The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will see riders tackle 200km’s which will include 11 Hellingen climbs, 5 of which are cobbled, and 10 separate cobbled sectors making the race a true test for the classics specialists. The Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne is 197km’s and lends its self slightly more to a strong sprinter with only 9 Hellingen climbs on the menu.

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will no doubt be out to battle for the top step of the podium at both events and our African supporters will be happy to hear that SuperSport will be broadcasting both events live. Visit www.supersport.com for the broadcast schedule.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
These races are known as the “openingsweekend” among the riders. It is the official opening of the classics season and it offers our first opportunity to test ourselves and to prepare for the bigger classics later. A good showing here can set you up for a good classics season.

Tyler Farrar – Rider
Opening weekend is always something special. After a winter of training and a month of preparation races, it’s the first time to really test yourself on the cobbles. Everybody would like to kick-off their classics campaign with a good result. After a month of waiting for the classics the Belgian fans will go crazy, which makes it pretty cool.

About MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Team MTN-Qhubeka was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for the Qhubeka charity.

Qhubeka is an Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa) word that means “to carry on”, “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes people’s lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com.

Source: Team MTN-Qhubeka