Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka return to Malaysia this weekend, to start the Tour de Langkawi as 3-time defending champions. The UCI 2.HC category event will get underway on Sunday 18th March and concludes after 8 road stages, ending Sunday 25th March.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka have had a terrific run at the Tour de Langkawi, claiming a hatrick of overall titles thanks to Youcef Reguigui (2015), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (2016) and Ryan Gibbons (2017). With our 3 former winners all being sprinters by nature, it’s fair to say that with the course having changed very little for 2018, the race will suit a similar type of rider yet again.
As our African Team sprinters are currently focused on the European spring classics, we start this year’s edition of the race as defending champions but certainly not race favourites. Instead, some of our younger riders will have the opportunity to lead our charge at Tour de Langkawi this year. All 3 of our neo-pros, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Nicholas Dlamini and Scott Davies will be on the start line come Sunday.
Jaco Venter and Johann van Zyl were both part of our 2016 winning Langkawi roster and Mekseb Debesay was a key rider in assuring we won last year’s race, with the Eritrean also securing a stage win of his own. Their Langkawi race winning experience will certainly come in handy over the course of the next week, helping to guide our neo-pros all the way to Kuala Lumpur.
Gino van Oudenhove – Sport Director
The professional teams have some good sprinters here, and they will have a lot of opportunities. We have a squad without a top sprinter, so for us it is necessary to be pro active and race on the offensive, in order to score stage results and bonus seconds for the GC. Our riders are aware of that and are ready to start this fight. For the GC, the fifth stage will be crucial, and in contrary to the sprint teams, we might have the best set up for this task.