Tour de l’Ain runner-up Pardilla joins expanding MTN Qhubeka team
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tour de l’Ain runner-up Pardilla joins expanding MTN Qhubeka team

by VeloNation Press at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
South African squad taking shape prior to move to next level in cycling

Sergio PardillaContinuing the build-up to what it expects will be its first year as a Pro Continental squad, the MTN Qhubeka team has announced the signing of another strong rider for the future. The South African setup has agreed a two year contract with the current Movistar rider Sergio Pardilla, who will add considerable firepower.

The Spaniard finished eighteenth overall in this year’s Giro d’Italia, as well as netting second overall in the Tour de l’Ain, winning the King of the Mountains competition in the Vuelta a Burgos, placing fourth in the Vuelta a Murcia, tenth in the Volta a Catalunya and seventh in the Route du Sud.

“Team MTN-Qhubeka is not a ‘normal’ team,” he said, in commenting about the reasons for his move. “I mean results are important as they are in any other team but Team MTN-Qhubeka also has other goals which are supporting African riders to make cycling a more popular sport on the continent and taking part in charity projects to reduce poverty in Africa through Qhubeka.

“We sportsmen have a big responsibility. As we are competing in team events, millions of people are watching us. We must set an example. We can make the world a better place to live in. Team MTN-Qhubeka understands this. It’s not just sport, it’s something much more important. I think I can not only be a better rider in Team MTN-Qhubeka but also a better person.”

The 28 year old has clocked up eleven wins as a pro and will help the team fight for big results next season and beyond.

MTN Qhubeka has inked several strong riders as part of its expansion. This number includes former world under 23 champion Gerald Ciolek, past Giro d’Italia stage winner Ignatus Konovalovas, Jay Thomson, , Louis Meintjes, Johann van Zyl, Andreas Stauff, Youcef Reguigui and Kristian Sbaragli.

Team Principal Douglas Ryder is pleased with his team’s latest acquisition. “It is fantastic to have a stage race rider and super climber like Sergio join our team. We have been looking for a rider that will be able to lead Team MTN-Qhubeka in stage races next year and into the Grand Tours in the very near future,” he said.

“At 28 years of age he is still young and has had a steady build up the last four years winning races like Tour of Japan when he was 25, third in Tour of Portugal and second in Tour of Austria when he was 26. The last two years on the Movistar Team he has ridden races like the Vuelta a Espana, Paris Nice and Giro d’Italia in which he finished 18th this year. We have some really good climbers and stage race riders from South Africa and Africa in the team to support Sergio next year to hopefully some significant performances.”


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