South African cyclist, Nicholas Dlamini will become the country’s first black participant at the Tour de France after being announced as the eighth rider of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Nicholas Dlamini will become the first black South African to compete at Tour de France after he was announced as a member of Team Qhubeka ASSOS’ eight-rider roster for this year’s race. 🚴🏽♂️@LeTour | @nich_dlamini | @QhubekaAssos https://t.co/EdETlWt4uw
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) June 18, 2021
The 25-year-old’s selection is a historic moment for him after growing up in an informal settlement in Cape Town and experiencing the hardships of life. He first caught attention as a runner before moving into cycling. Dlamini’s talents and hard work then saw him move to the Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom where he then earned his spot in UCI’s Continental outfit, Team Qhubeka, who are based in Lucca, Italy.
Since his breakthrough, he has also raced across the world, including competing twice at the Vuelta a Espana in 2019 and 2020 respectively. He has worn the King of the Mountains jersey at both the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain.
As reported by Olympics.com, Dlamini indicated that it has always been his childhood dream to compete at the Tour de France, in spite of coming from a small township so it will be a historical moment for him and the whole of South Africa.
“To have finally made it to the Tour de France start list is a phenomenal feeling, and I am looking forward to grabbing the opportunity with both hands,” Dlamini said.
Dlamini will also represent South Africa in the men’s road cycling at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, Team Qhubeka ASSOS will make its seventh appearance at the Tour de France, having first competed in 2015. Since then, the team has won seven stages and worn the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys, respectively, Good Guy Things reports.
Picture: Team Qhubeka ASSOS