Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung's first season as a Pro Continental team was given a major boost today when RCS Sport announced wild card entries for the team to Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo. The two races form part of the UCI WorldTour and will see the first ever professional team from Africa race against the top 18 teams in the world.
"We'd like to thank RCS for this opportunity," said team prinicipl Douglas Ryder. "It was a major goal for us this year to get into those two races as they are two of the most prestigious ones on the calender. Tirreno-Adriatico will offer some tough stage racing while Milan-Sanremo at almost 300km's long will offer our riders a great learning opportunity in tough oneday classic conditions."
Gerald Ciolek, who will captain the team, made public his desire to ride these races a few weeks ago. After the announcement he said, "I've been building the early part of my season around these two races. To have them confirmed for our team is great. People may have wondered why I signed for a Pro Continental team but I think everyone is starting to believe why this project is so special. I am looking forward to heading to Italy for these races."
Racing WorldTour events is of paramount importance towards Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung's goal of developing an African world champion and putting 1 million kids onto bicycles in Africa through Qhubeka. Tirreno-Adriatico takes place from 06.03.2013 - 12.03.13 while Milan-Sanremo happens on 17.03.13