Rolf Aldag has left Etixx-QuickStep to join MTN-Qhubeka as their performance manager. The German will start working with the African team with immediate effect after mutually agreeing to end his contract with Etixx-Quickstep on November 1.
The MTN-Qhubeka team will be known as Team Dimension Data in 2016 after securing new sponsorship from the African-based company. Financial services and consultancy firm Deloitte has also agreed to back the team. The increased budget has allowed the team to sign Mark Cavendish, his leadout man Mark Renshaw and trusted road captain Bernard Eisel. Also joining the team for 2016 are Kanstanstin Siutsou, Cameron Meyer, Nathan Haas and Omar Fraile –the winner of the climber's competition at this year's Vuelta a Espana.
Aldag worked with Mark Cavendish at HTC and Etixx-QuickStep and so will return to work with the Manxman after his move to the African team for the 2016 season. He will play a key role in the team's management structure under general manager Brian Smith, as it steps up in 2016 and perhaps becomes a WorldTour team. The 47-year-old German raced as a professional between 1991 and 2005, spending much of his career at Team Telekom with Jan Ullrich. In 2007 he confessed to taking EPO between 1995 and 1999 following accusations from former soigneur Jef d'Hont.
"I am happy to join Team Dimension Data, as the outfit will be known from 2016. As a South African resident I have a good understanding of Qhubeka's importance," Aldag said in the press release from MTN-Qhubeka announcing his arrival.
"I know how much impact the charity has on the lives of children and the future of the country. I am looking forward to play an active role for Qhubeka and hope to add some value to the team's sporting success."
MTN-Qhubeka team principal Douglas Ryder welcomed Aldag's arrival.
"I am really excited to have one of the most experienced individuals in cycling join our team. Rolf has helped teams in the past excel on a performance level and a technical level and we look forward to the contribution he can make in our team as we embark on the next phase of our journey," he said.