Nic Dlamini has made South African history by becoming the first black South African to Compete at Tour de France; he is part of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
South Africa (21 June 2021) – Nic Dlamini, a South African making a name for himself on the international cycling circuit, has made history by becoming the first black South African to compete at Tour de France. He is flying the South African flag high alongside Africa’s UCI WorldTour team, Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Team Qhubeka ASSOS will make its seventh appearance at the Tour de France, having first competed in 2015 (MTN-Qhubeka). Over that period, the team has won seven stages; and worn the yellow, green and polka dot jerseys, respectively.
Nic Dlamini’s selection is a landmark moment for the South African-registered team as he becomes the latest rider to progress from our development team and onto the UCI WorldTour, and subsequently, earn his selection to compete at the world’s biggest cycling race.
The 25-year-old, who grew up in an informal settlement in Cape Town, first caught the eye as a runner before moving into cycling, where his talents saw him move to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It is from here that he first earned a spot in our UCI Continental outfit – Team Qhubeka – based in Lucca, Italy.
“Being selected to ride in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me. It’s always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it makes it feel surreal.
I think it speaks to what the team is about, the Ubuntu spirit, and how we change people’s lives because it is honestly a very special moment: to come from a small township and then to go to the Tour de France.
Considering where I come from it would simply have been impossible for me to have the opportunity to ride at the Tour de France if it wasn’t for Team Qhubeka ASSOS. The platform that they’ve provided me, and other riders from Africa, to compete at the highest level in cycling has been critical.” – Nic Dlamini
In his second season with the continental team, Dlamini rode as a stagiaire on our WorldTour team and then turned professional in 2018. Since then, he raced across the world, including twice competing at the Vuelta a Espana (2019 and 2020) and has worn the king of the mountains jersey at both the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain.
2020 saw his season heavily affected by an arm injury, as well as the broader impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cycling calendar, but 2021 has seen Dlamini selected to represent Team South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and now being called up to our Tour de France squad.
Dlamini’s style of racing will likely see his talents deployed in the offensive strategy the team will look to pursue during the race, while also playing a key supporting role in the latter stages.
“I really hope that this will serve as a reference of hope and inspiration to many young South Africans, and people around the world, who have been working really hard to reach their dreams, my hope is that they take from this that anything is possible.
I want to race the tour to inspire more kids on Qhubeka bikes to follow in my footsteps and to experience the world like I have, for more kids in communities to put their hands up for bikes to work hard like I did, to dream big. I am living my dream.”
The 2021 Tour de France gets underway in Brest on 26 June and finishes on Paris on 18 July. Stay tuned to the final week of build-up to the event, with further exciting news set to come from the team.
2021 Tour de France line-up [squad numbers]:
Simon Clarke – Australia 
Michael Gogl – Austria 
Victor Campenaerts – Belgium 
Max Walscheid – Germany 
Sean Bennett – USA 
Nic Dlamini – South Africa 
Sergio Henao – Colombia 
Fabio Aru – Italy