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Since 2007, Team MTN-Qhubeka have focused on becoming the first African team at the Le Tour de France, and that dream was realised this year when the team received a wildcard invitation to the Grande Boucle. “For us and across South Africa and Africa, when people talk about cycling, they talk about the Tour de France,” says Douglas Ryder, MTN-Qhubeka’s team principal. “It’s as if there is no other race. They don’t understand that as a team we race 200 race days to prepare and get ready and get strong enough to be able to compete in a Grand Tour like the Tour de France.” The team are hoping that participation and success in the world’s biggest bicycle race will aspire more interest in the sport among Africans, eventually producing more homegrown talent. “Having a team like ours, with a uniquely different story and riders from all over the African continent, we know that it will just raise the profile and it will kick the door open for African cyclists into the future,” Ryder says.

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