The reinvention of Qhubeka Assos continues for 2021 beyond its new name and recalibrated roster, as the South African WorldTour team unveiled today a distinct new design for the jerseys.
The monochrome palette of black and white work together with a splash of neon yellow on the colour side, while the distinct symbol of the Qhubeka Charity, a helping hand, is the prominent design element on the front and back panels.
The front sections of the sleeves carry team bike sponsor BMC, while a black band on the torso spotlights Qhubeka. New co-title sponsor Assos is the lone logo reversed out of black on the back pocket area. The bright yellow is a highlight effect to call attention to the team’s connection to its charitable mission.
“This jersey highlights the unique story that our team has to tell and it will be worn with immense pride,” said Doug Ryder, team principal for Qhubeka Assos, in a team press release.
“On the neck of the jersey, as well as on our vehicles, we carry the African proverb ‘Ubuntu’ (I am because we are) to reflect that as a team you cannot exist in isolation.
“2021 features the next bold step that we are taking together as a team and to have the Qhubeka hands so prominently displayed is deeply symbolic.”
Ryder’s team has a long-standing relationship with the Qhubeka Charity ensuring that their collaboration continues. The helping hands were a small part of the 2020 jersey design with Assos when the team raced with blue and black colours of NTT.
“Qhubeka has, incredibly, already distributed well over 100,000 bicycles and as a team we will ensure that we continue to make an impact in being a force for positive change to giving hope and opportunity,” added Ryder about the teams commitment to the Qhubeka charity, which aims to change live through the provision of bicycles in Africa.
The team noted in its press release that the use of the hand symbols not only illustrated that beneficiaries like Qhubeka Charity are “receiving a hand up in their lives”, but also “a signal current and future partners to put their own hands up in having the opportunity to join our team.”
Assos filled the urgent need for the team to acquire financial backing and continue operations at the WorldTour level. The Swiss-based clothing brand stepped in to fund the team for the next two seasons, and has paid special attention to the overall branding of the team with this year’s jerseys.
“The historic colours of the ASSOS [company team] are black and white. The symbol of mission Qhubeka is a helping hand: simple, essential elegance,” said Roche Maier, Assos board member and chief of the Assos creative design center. “The idea is to keep and build upon this design and going forward simply replace the ASSOS second name with a bigger partner to join, fund & secure the bicycle changes lives into an even bigger, sustainable movement for the future.”
While the racing calendar remains in flux due to continued health and safety concerns by organisers of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Qhubeka Assos are scheduled to make their racing debut in the jersey at Étoile de Bessèges, scheduled for February 3 to 7.
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