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Dimension builds cycling portfolio by backing African team

Global IT solutions and services provider Dimension Data has agreed a deal to become the sole title sponsor of MTN-Qhubeka, Africa’s only Professional Continental cycling team.

Terms of the deal with the team’s owner, Ryder Cycling, were not disclosed, but from January 1 the outfit will be named Team Dimension Data.

MTN, the South African telecommunications company, confirmed in July that it would end its title sponsorship of the team at the end of the 2015 season. Reports at the time suggested Dimension Data, the Tour de France’s official technology partner, would step in and replace MTN.

MTN-Qhubeka team principal Douglas Ryder said: “It (the deal) enables us to continue to support the development of African cycling and the Qhubeka charity at the highest levels in world cycling.”

Adam Foster, Dimension Data’s group executive of communications, who is responsible for the firm’s partnerships with Amaury Sport Organisation, which owns the Tour de France, and Ryder Cycling, added: “We will work closely with Doug Ryder, his team, and its other partners to provide world class infrastructure, services, and race opportunities for the team’s riders to be successful. 

"Our partnership, combined with harnessing the power of our technologies to drive transformation within the world of cycling, will help the team accelerate their individual and collective ambitions.”

The team enjoyed much success at this year’s Tour de France, despite only gaining entrance as a wild card. MTN-Qhubeka’s Eritrean rider Daniel Teklehaimanot became the first African to wear the King of the Mountain jersey for four successive days, while the team also finished fifth overall. British rider Steve Cummings also picked up a stage win.

ASO signed a five-year partnership with Dimension Data in March. Under the agreement, Johannesburg-headquartered Dimension became the official technology partner of ASO on ‘Grand Tours’ the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, as well as Paris-Nice, Critérium International, Paris-Roubaix, la Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Tour de Yorkshire, World Ports Classic, Critérium du Dauphiné, la Course by le Tour de France and the Paris-Tours.