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Gallery: MTN-Qhubeka team trains with fans in South Africa

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Edvald Boasson Hagen tucks in.

Edvald Boasson Hagen tucks in.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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One fan takes a selfie with Serge Pauwels and Nicolas Dougall.

One fan takes a selfie with Serge Pauwels and Nicolas Dougall.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The riders relax with a coffee.

The riders relax with a coffee.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Eritrean riders Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot.

Eritrean riders Merhawi Kudus and Daniel Teklehaimanot.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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There was a chance to catch up at a picnic afterwards.

There was a chance to catch up at a picnic afterwards.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Local police ensured the riders had plenty of room on the road.

Local police ensured the riders had plenty of room on the road.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The pros mix it with the fans at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp in South Africa.

The pros mix it with the fans at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp in South Africa.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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 The MTN-Qhubeka fans were happy to be there and happy to keep up.

The MTN-Qhubeka fans were happy to be there and happy to keep up.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Some heavy traffic forced a small route change.

Some heavy traffic forced a small route change.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The pros and amateurs went out for a two hour loop near the team's hotel.

The pros and amateurs went out for a two hour loop near the team's hotel.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Doug Ryder signs one fan's jersey.

Doug Ryder signs one fan's jersey.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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There was plenty of healthy food on offer.

There was plenty of healthy food on offer.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The fans were given a chance to mingle with the riders.

The fans were given a chance to mingle with the riders.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Daniel Teklehaimanot takes some photos of his teammates.

Daniel Teklehaimanot takes some photos of his teammates.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Daniel Teklehaimanot took the chance to learn a new skill.

Daniel Teklehaimanot took the chance to learn a new skill.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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There was a chance to relax for the riders at the MTN-Qhubeka camp.

There was a chance to relax for the riders at the MTN-Qhubeka camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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South African champion Louis Meintjes.

South African champion Louis Meintjes.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Nicolas Dougall (MTN-Qhubeka).

Nicolas Dougall (MTN-Qhubeka).
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Johann van Zyl and Theo Bos.

Johann van Zyl and Theo Bos.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A selection of the food on offer at the MTN-Qhubeka fan day.

A selection of the food on offer at the MTN-Qhubeka fan day.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A lucky fan poses with a number of the new riders at MTN-Qhubeka.

A lucky fan poses with a number of the new riders at MTN-Qhubeka.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen still in his Sky kit at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

Edvald Boasson Hagen still in his Sky kit at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Jacques Janse van Rensburg explains his equipment to a fan.

Jacques Janse van Rensburg explains his equipment to a fan.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The riders congrate for the fan ride at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

The riders congrate for the fan ride at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Edvald Boasson Hagen was one of the most popular riders.

Edvald Boasson Hagen was one of the most popular riders.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Natnael Berhane talks with one of the team's directeurs sportifs.

Natnael Berhane talks with one of the team's directeurs sportifs.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Plenty of the MTN-Qhubeka team's fans turned up to ride.

Plenty of the MTN-Qhubeka team's fans turned up to ride.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Reinardt Janse van Rensburg signs a fan's jersey at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

Reinardt Janse van Rensburg signs a fan's jersey at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The MTN Club 100 was well represented on the ride.

The MTN Club 100 was well represented on the ride.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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New signing Serge Pauwels at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

New signing Serge Pauwels at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Maerhawi Kudus, Youcef Reguigui and Natnael Berhane.

Maerhawi Kudus, Youcef Reguigui and Natnael Berhane.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Serge Pauwels and Nicolas Dougall share a joke at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

Serge Pauwels and Nicolas Dougall share a joke at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Local hero Sonzego Jim poses for photos.

Local hero Sonzego Jim poses for photos.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Steve Cummings joins MTN-Qhubeka from BMC.

Steve Cummings joins MTN-Qhubeka from BMC.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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There was a quick talk about the route before everything got going.

There was a quick talk about the route before everything got going.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Theo Bos with team pricipal Doug Ryder.

Theo Bos with team pricipal Doug Ryder.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Steve Cummings talks with a British fan.

Steve Cummings talks with a British fan.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A fan waits for the ride to begin.

A fan waits for the ride to begin.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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One paracyclist mixed it with the pros on his custom tricycle.

One paracyclist mixed it with the pros on his custom tricycle.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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There was some interesting equipment to be seen.

There was some interesting equipment to be seen.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).

Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka).
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Algerian rider Youcef Reguigui ahead of the fan ride at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.

Algerian rider Youcef Reguigui ahead of the fan ride at the MTN-Qhubeka training camp.
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)

MTN-Qhubeka marked the end of their week-long training camp in South Africa with a two-hour fan ride. A large number of fans made the journey to Stellenbosch for a chance to ride with their heroes and were given an opportunity to talk with them in a picnic afterwards. With the riders spending most of the year racing in Europe, it is a rare opportunity for the local fans to see them up close.

The short ride took the bunch around the rolling hillside of the Southern Cape, with the police ensuring that the riders had plenty of room on the roads. There was a wide variety of riders and although a few were dropped most were able to keep up with the 30kph average.

MTN-Qhubeka have been staying in the spectacular setting of the Spier Wine Hotel since last Sunday. Saturday marks the final day of activities, with most returning home on Sunday afternoon. The team will meet again in Majorca in January ahead of the new season, where they hope to make history by becoming the first African-registered team to ride the Tour de France.