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MTN-Qhubeka team gathers in South Africa

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Reinardt Janse van Rensberg returns to the team after two years with Giant-Shimano

Reinardt Janse van Rensberg returns to the team after two years with Giant-Shimano
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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And you can't blame them when it looked like this

And you can't blame them when it looked like this
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Kristian Sbaragli, Songezo Jim and Youcef Reguigui take a selfie

Kristian Sbaragli, Songezo Jim and Youcef Reguigui take a selfie
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A change of shoes for Matt Goss for the walk back to the hotel

A change of shoes for Matt Goss for the walk back to the hotel
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The visit provided a lot of perspective for all

The visit provided a lot of perspective for all
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Cyclingnews got some help from one of the children taking photos of the riders

Cyclingnews got some help from one of the children taking photos of the riders
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The young residents were very interested in the arrival of the riders

The young residents were very interested in the arrival of the riders
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Stephen Cummings gets ready for the team training ride

Stephen Cummings gets ready for the team training ride
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Theo Bos is one of several sprinters to join the team this season

Theo Bos is one of several sprinters to join the team this season
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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A quick check of the power metre for Serge Pauwels before the ride

A quick check of the power metre for Serge Pauwels before the ride
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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The riders listen to some pre-training information from the directeurs

The riders listen to some pre-training information from the directeurs
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)
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Louis Meintjes in the jersey of South African champion, he'll be hoping for another year in it

Louis Meintjes in the jersey of South African champion, he'll be hoping for another year in it
(Image credit: Sadhbh O'Shea)

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.