The MTN-Qhubeka team has confirmed that Dutch sprinter Theo Bos will ride with the team in 2015.
The Professional Continental team is hoping to secure a wild card invitation to the Tour de France next season and has already secured the services of Edvald Boasson Hagen. Like the Norwegian, Bos has accepted to step down to Professional Continental level rather than stay with Belkin (which will become De Lotto in 2015) or join another WorldTour team.
"I am really excited to be joining Team MTN-Qhubeka. It is an amazing project that I can’t wait to be a part of," Bos said in a statement from the South African squad.
"The team races for a cause that is more than just winning races and that is Qhubeka, a social initiative where they aim to put children in Africa on bicycles. I really like this human element to the team. I hope I will be able to bring a fan base with me to the team that will bring new support to the Qhubeka initiative. When I win races I know that I will be able to tell the teams story and that is something that motivates me."
Bos is an Olympic silver medalist and five-time world champion on the track. He switched to road racing after the 2008 Olympic Games and has since won 35 races on the road, most recently a stage at the Tour of Poland. He won four stages at the Tour de Langkawi in the spring and six stages at the 2013 Tour of Hainan. He has started two Grand Tours during his career but has yet to prove his ability in Grand Tour sprints or finish a three-week race.
Interim general manager Brian Smith is currently rebuilding the MTN-Qhubeka team. Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Steve Cummings (BMC) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) have all been linked to the team for 2015 and could form a lead out train for Bos and help him in the hills. MTN-Qhubeka also has German sprinter Gerald Ciolek on its roster.
"Theo Bos is a great sprinter and a rider who has won races all over the world, his addition will add strength and depth to our sprint train in one day races and stage races," team manager Doug Ryder said.
"As a rider he wins consistently throughout the season which creates a positive feeling in a team and we look forward to him bringing this positive energy to Team MTN-Qhubeka. His top end speed and skills learnt from track cycling is something he is looking forward to assisting our young sprinters with and showing them the way to become future race winners."