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Max Walscheid delivered a superb performance on the opening stage of the 104th Giro d'Italia to finish in 8th place, and lay down a marker for Team Qhubeka ASSOS' (TeamQhubeka.com) ambitions at the 2021 event.
Walscheid's performance, in which he finished 19 seconds behind eventual stage-winner Filippo Ganna (IGD), was the highlight of an excellent outing for the team, who placed 5th overall in the team competition on the opening day.
The short 8.6km course through Turin saw plenty of power laid down by the peloton and ultimately it was the dominance of Ganna, the world champion, who ran out a comfortable winner by 10 seconds ahead of Edoardo Affini (TJV).
Domenico Pozzovivo also impressed as he rode to an excellent 21st place, closely followed by Victor Campenaerts, who opted to take the day's opening slot for our team. The Belgian was the third man off the start ramp and briefly held the day's leading time before being usurped by Roger Kluge.
In addition, prior to the start of the individual time trial the the World Hour Record holder, Campenaerts, conducted his pre-race routine on the Zwift platform, an engagement which saw excited fans able to share their daily own ride with the Belgian.
A successful day for the team was completed by Mauro Schmid, Kilian Frankiny, Giacomo Nizzolo, Lukasz Wisnowski and Bert-Jane Lindeman all delivering strong performances that bode well, as the team looks ahead to its ambitions in stage two of the race on Sunday and beyond.
First day, first top-10!
I'm super happy with finishing off some very good weeks of work in which the team have supported me in getting the best out of myself; the physical performance and also the optimisation of the materials. I'm just super happy that it paid off.
I think that there's a lot left in the tank and I'm looking forward to all the coming TT performances as well as the road stages; the shape is not too bad!
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About Team Qhubeka ASSOS:
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is a purpose-led, high-performance team, fighting to win on the world's biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
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