After announcing a number of signings this week, Dimension Data have confirmed that they have extended contracts with six more of their African riders. These latest signings bring the number of Africans confirmed for 2016 to 11, with more signings due in the coming weeks.
Jay Thomson, Jaco Venter, Songezo Jim, Youcef Reguigui, Nic Dougall and Johann van Zyl have all extended their tenure with the team. Reguigui provided the team with early success this season, taking a surprise overall win at the Tour de Langkawi, while Jim – who only learned to ride a bike in his teens – continued the team’s history-making season by becoming the first black South African to ride the Vuelta a Espana.
They join Daniel Teklehaimanot, Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Berhane, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, who had already extended with the team.
"I am really excited that all these riders are staying with their "home" team, it is great to see the hard work and talent shining through this year and we received many of our successes from this group of riders," said team principal Doug Ryder. "Largely due to our mentorship program with our international riders who have helped fast-track them to success through their knowledge of the racing and stature in the pro peloton.
"We are so happy that they can race in the biggest races in the world on our team and show their potential. They are living the dream on their bikes and racing for a cause that helps mobilise others on bicycles too through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign. Next year will be another big year for our team, a year that we are all looking forward too."
Dimension Data have also confirmed that Theo Bos and Matt Brammeier will remain with the team, having signed two-year contracts. Earlier this week, they announced the signings of Mark Cavendish, Mark Renshaw, Bernhard Eisel, Omar Fraile and Nathan Haas. The team have also told Cyclingnews that they still harbour ambitions of jumping up to WorldTour level.