MTN-Qhubeka team gathers in South Africa

MTN-Qhubeka has been making the headlines for the last few months with a number of big-name signings from the WorldTour. The new intake, which includes Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tyler Farrar and Matt Goss, have had their first opportunity to meet their new teammates at the African team in their first training camp in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The riders arrived last Sunday and have been staying at the Spier Wine Hotel in the wine region of South Africa.

Despite bringing in several riders that have made their careers competing against each other, the team has integrated well thus far with the help of a number of team building exercises, including a pub quiz and wine tasting – professional cyclists will do their best to win any competition.

Also on the agenda was a visit to see the work of the Qhubeka charity in action. The riders and staff were taken to one of the shanty towns where the charity people can earn their bikes by doing community and environmental work. It was a chance for the new riders to gain some perspective on the team’s work. The arrival of a team of professional cyclist was certainly a novelty for the residents, who were all too happy to help show them around.

Despite all of the team building exercises and team commitments, the riders managed to get in some training, with some stunning scenery and some wildlife to entertain them en route. The team will remain in Stellenbosch until Tuesday when they will all head home. They’ll meet again in January for a training camp in Mallorca before the 2015 season begins.

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Born in Ireland to a cycling family and later moved to the Isle of Man, so there was no surprise when I got into the sport. Studied sports journalism at university before going on to do a Masters in sports broadcast. After university I spent three months interning at Eurosport, where I covered the Tour de France. In 2012 I started at Procycling Magazine, before becoming the deputy editor of Procycling Week. I then joined Cyclingnews, in December 2013.