Dimension Data have finalised their 27-rider roster for the 2019 season, which it will attack with the likes of Mark Cavendish, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Ben King, along with major new signing Michael Valgren.
The team has waved good-bye to riders Serge Pauwels, Scott Thwaites, Lachlan Morton, Merhawi Kudus, Nic Dougall, Mekseb Debesay, Natnael Berhane and retiree Igor Antón, but has welcomed Amstel Gold and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Valgren from Astana, 2013 Amstel winner Roman Kreuziger from Mitchelton-Scott, Giacomo Nizzolo, Danilo Wyss, Enrico Gasparotto, Gino Mäder and Rasmus Tiller, with Stefan de Bod also graduating from the Dimension Data for Qhubeka feeder team.
British sprinter Cavendish's future had been uncertain, with rumours linking him to a move to Bahrain-Merida for next season, but Dimension Data could confirm at the end of October that the 33-year-old had signed a deal to stay with the team, which also retains his long-time teammates Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel.
At a training camp in Cape Town, South Africa, last week, where all the new riders and new staff for 2019 were present, the team handed over 75 Qhubeka bicycles at the Bulumka Secondary School in the township of Khayelitsha, having already surpassed its 2018 goal of providing 5,000 bicycles as a means of transport through the South African project.
"Having raced for nearly 300 days in 2018, to have the opportunity for all of our riders, some of our staff and partners to spend time handing over Qhubeka bicycles to recipients in Khayelitsha was a deeply moving moment for all," Team Principal Doug Ryder said on the team's website. "We always say that it's the best day in our year, and this year absolutely proved to be so once again.
"We had an intense but hugely enjoyable camp in Cape Town, and I'd like to thank each and every partner that took the time and effort to spend time with us, and together determining the next step in our future," he said. "Our planning for 2019 is already at an advanced stage, and we all left the camp clearly aligned in what our goals and targets are for next year. We can't wait to get back racing."
Dimension Data for 2019: Lars Bak, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Mark Cavendish, Steve Cummings, Scott Davies, Stefan de Bod, Nicholas Dlamini, Bernhard Eisel, Enrico Gasparotto, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Ryan Gibbons, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Ben King, Roman Kreuziger, Louis Meintjes, Gino Mäder, Giacomo Nizzolo, Ben O'Connor, Mark Renshaw, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Jay Thomson, Rasmus Tiller, Michael Valgren, Jaco Venter, Julien Vermote, Danilo Wyss