The 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia will get underway with the grand depart set to be an iconic occasion for cycling, as the Italian grand tour starts in Jerusalem, Israel on the 4th of May. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are excited at the prospects that await our African Team over the 3-week race.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are proud to confirm our 8-rider roster for the Giro d’Italia, which will be led by our South African general classification contender, Louis Meintjes.
“It’s really exciting to be taking on a new challenge, having never raced the Giro d’Italia before. It is a great route, with some really tough stages. Obviously, as it’s the first time we have worked towards the Giro, the build up to the race has also been new for us. I know we have worked hard and prepared well though and the target remains a strong GC result. We have a great team for the Giro, and the core of our team has been together for most of the season already. We are ready to give our all and do our best to raise awareness for Qhubeka through our performance,” said Meintjes.
Joining Meintjes will be the in-form Ben O’Connor, who recently won a stage of the Tour of Alps before going on to finish the race 7th overall. It will be the debut grand tour for O’Connor but based on recent results, we look forward to the 22-year-old Australian making an impact on the race while supporting Meintjes.
For the sprint stages, Ryan Gibbons will return to the Giro d’Italia after his success in the big bunch gallops last year. The young South African was somewhat of a revelation in 2017, impressing with 6 top-10 placings in what was also his first ever grand tour.
Taking on the supporting roles, we have a strong group of climbers in Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Natnael Berhane, Igor Anton and Ben King. Jaco Venter is the final piece to our Giro d’Italia puzzle and his versatility will make him a valuable teammate to Gibbons for the sprint stages and our climbers at certain moments in the race.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
“Our team is really excited for this year’s Giro d’Italia. Obviously the start is quite unique with the opening stages in Israel, and logistically our plans for the Giro are already well underway. From a racing perspective, it is going to be a tough race, there are some difficult stages especially in the final week. We look forward to getting underway though and the team will start with some positive momentum after the Tour of Alps. We have high ambitions in every sense for the Giro, targeting success in the GC, on individual stages and in trying to raise funding to put 1000 girls on bicycles through the Qhubeka charity we ride for.”
2018 Giro d’Italia Lineup
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Ben O’Connor (AUS)
Ryan Gibbons (RSA)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Natnael Berhane (ERI)
Igor Anton (ESP)
Ben King (USA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)
Cover Image Explained
The number 72 was worn by Alfonsina Strada in the 1924 Giro d’italia. She was the only woman to have ever competed and completed the Corsa Rosa. Strada challenged her society and her sport, when she rode all 3,613km of the Grand Tour on the racing bike she had received as a wedding present.
As Team Dimension Data embark on raising 1000 bikes for girls, we are inspired by the story of Alfonsina and how she realised her dream of racing the Giro.
Please help us help 1000 girls fulfil their dreams.