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MTN-Qhubeka to replace Vini Fantini in Il Lombardia

Susan Westemeyer
June 20, 2013, 14:05,
June 20, 2013, 16:17
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 21, 2013
Il Lombardia
Two MTN Qhubeka riders

Two MTN Qhubeka riders

  • Two MTN Qhubeka riders
  • Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) with a huge task in front of him to defend the race lead
  • Gerald Ciolek (MTN - Qhubeka) takes the biggest win of his career in Milan-San Remo
  • The few riders left due to an extremely difficult Il Lombardia descend back down to Lago di Como

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Autumn Classic to run again from Bergamo to Lecco

Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will ride the Il Lombardia in October. The first African Professional Continental team received the wildcard invitation after Vini Fantini-Sella Italia withdrew from the race. Race organizers also announced that the race will once again start in Bergamo and finish in Lecco.

MTN-Qhubeka will be the 25th team in the race, with organisers noting that the team was the winner of this year's Milan-San Remo with Gerald Ciolek. Vini Fantini had earlier been awarded one of the wildcards, but returned the invitation after two of its riders tested positive for EPO around the Giro d'Italia.

"Giro di Lombardia is a race I watched live last year and it goes over such beautiful and tough terrain and has a similar type of finish to Milan-Sanremo with hard climbs near the end,” team principal Doug Ryder told Cyclingnews. “It will be a great event for our team and fantastic to end our first Pro Continental racing season with a World Tour event. We have had 7 UCI victories this season and we are looking forward to a successful autumn."

The race, to be held October 6, will start in Bergamo and early on will feature the Valcava climb (9.6km,  9% and 1336m). Coming later, the Muro di Sormano will be a real challenge. It is only 2km but has a 15% average gradient, narrow roads, and 25-30% grade hairpins. There are two more major climbs before the finish, the Ghisallo with a maximum gradient of 14% and the Vila Vergano, which kicks up to 15%.

The 25 participating teams include all 19 WorldTour teams plus Androni Giacattoli-Venezuela, Colombia, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka, Europcar and NetApp-Endura.

Peter Dreesens More than 1 year ago
" ,,,,,,the Ghisallo with an average gradient of 14% and the Vila Vergano, with an average of 15%." I don't think thats right .
Uncle_Tod More than 1 year ago
You're right, the Villa Vergano has an average of 7.4% with a max gradient of 15% whereas the Ghisallo is 5.2% average.
LanterneVerte More than 1 year ago
Great news for a team that I admire. This article would be even better if it told us something more about the team members, who in the team is good in this kind of event for example.