One of the brightest talents on the UCI World Tour, Ben O’Connor, says that he’s “excited” to have committed his future to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka which has been a “great fit” for him thus far in his professional career.
The 22-year-old Australian, in his second year with Africa’s Team, has renewed his contract until 2020. The good news comes just days after his heroic efforts at the Giro d’Italia, which saw him sadly crash out within sight of the finish in Rome but make headlines with a hugely impressive Grand Tour debut.
While for Team Principal, Douglas Ryder, O’Connor’s commitment is an integral part of the team’s goals over the course of the next three years and their ‘Vision 2020’ campaign.
Despite crashing out on stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia, O’Connor was one of the biggest revelations of the race. The Australian was riding high, challenging for a top-8 GC placing, when the race summited the Col delle Finestre but his inspired ride came to a crashing halt, ending with a broken collarbone on the descent of the Sestriere.
O’Connor’s Giro exit was heartbreaking, for both rider and Team Dimension Data, but showcased the rapid progression he has made over the course of the last 18 months.
After top-10 GC finishes at Langkawi and Austria in 2017 he took a major step forward in 2018 as he claimed 11th at the Vuelta Catalunya as well as a stage win, the white jersey and 7th on GC at the Tour of Alps, confirming his status as one of the most exciting emerging talents in the sport.
Now in the week following the Giro, as Ben recovers from his injuries and first half of the season efforts, we are delighted to confirm he has committed his racing future to Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Douglas Ryder – Team Principal
We’re really happy to have Ben continue his career and development at Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. He has been such an amazing addition to the team. Ben is a rider who knows what he wants, pays incredible attention to the detail in the races he rides, leverages the mentorship we have in our team both on and off the bike and takes a leadership role when the opportunity presents itself. His maturity is way beyond his years and he sets an example of what is possible when you embrace all at your disposal whilst having fun doing it. Bicycles change lives.
Ben O’Connor – Rider
I am excited to have signed a new contract with Team Dimension Data. I have made some good friends here, with the riders and staff, and I really get along well with everyone. When you already have that trust established, I don’t think it’s a great idea to just jump from one team to another.
Dimenson Data is a great fit for me. Here we have the ability to actually race the race, and that freedom allows you to learn and grow in a professional environment. This system really works for me so it is a great fit. I’m also happy to be able to show loyalty to the team that believed in me initially, and gave me that opportunity.
The Giro was massively disappointing for me, in the end, but it opened my eyes to more defined goals. I am GC rider, and a grand tour white jersey is definitely right up there on top of my list of goals now, a goal I look forward to chasing with Team Dimension Data.