The 2018 season kicks off proper for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka at the UCI World Tour opener, The Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia. Now in it’s 20th year, the Santos Tour Down Under gets underway with the traditional People’s Choice Classic Criterium on Sunday 14th January. The six stage World Tour race then gets underway on Tuesday 16 January, ending Sunday 21 January.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are motivated to get the season underway in sunny South Australia, more so with a former winner of the Tour Down now in our squad. After winning in 2013, our new recruit for 2018, Tom-Jelte Slagter returns to the Tour Down Under to lead our African Team over the coming week of racing.
Joining Slagter on our TDU roster will be a good mix of experience and youth as Mark Renshaw, Jaco Venter, Lachlan Morton, Ben O’Connor, Scott Davies and Nic Dlamini all take the start for Team Dimension Data too. For Davies and Dlamini, the Tour Down Under will be a special event as it marks the start of their pro careers for the two neo-pro’s.
For the race itself, our African Team will obviously have one eye on the overall classification with Slagter being suited to the Queen stage of the race. Morton and O’Connor will also be good options for the tougher stages and when it’s a sprint, Renshaw has proven in the past he is able to finish on the stage podium.
Tom-Jelte Slagter – Rider
The Tour Down Under is great way to start the season with my new team. So far I am really happy with the team since we met in South Africa last year, everything has been great here as well with everyone working well together. Training has been going well too and it’s really nice to start the season here, in good weather. We have a motivated team, with some Australian’s who are normally in good shape for their home race. We are here to race for the victory or at least the best possible result we can achieve. I have good memories from 2013 and I was here last year as well, so I think with this team we can do a really good and I am ready for it too.