Gerald Ciolek's stunning victory at Milan-San Remo capped off a dream start for the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team. It was an unexpected success for the first African team to ride WorldTour races after the team made its major race debut at Tirreno-Adriatico the week before.
The team reveals the difficulties, drama and emotions of their debut and Ciolek's Milan-San Remo win in the first of a series of stunning behind the scenes videos. The first is called “Team MTN Qhubeka: An African Bicycle Dream Episode 1.”
Standing at the start of Tirreno-Adriatico, “I thought I was dreaming,” said team principal Doug Ryder. “To see our team vehicles and our brand and the colours of our team amongst the best teams in the world ..... We had arrived. We absolutely had arrived. And then to see the confidence of our riders, and how confident they were in the races – it's time. The time is now.”
The cold European weather made things tough for the team in Italy, but Ciolek showed promise of things to come, finishing third and fourth on the first two stages in Tirreno-Adriatico. The German then went on to glory bringing in the biggest win of his career by out-sprinting none other than Peter Sagan to win in San Remo.