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MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung partners with Nederburg in 2015 Tour de France

South African chef David Higgs to serve the team

MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is happy to announce that Nederburg, South Africa’s leading and most awarded winery, will be partnering with the team to support Africa’s debut in the Tour de France. Africa’s participation in the 3.344 km July race through the Netherlands, Belgium and France is the realisation of a long-held dream by South African cycling hero, Douglas Ryder, who is the team principal.

The MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung squad is one of five wild-card teams in the world’s biggest cycling race that features a total of 22 teams. Represented by a selection of home-grown African cyclists, as well as a few mentors to accelerate their progress, it is the first African-registered team to take part in the race, now in its 102nd edition.

Renowned chef David Higgs of The Saxon Boutique Hotel Villas & Spas in Johannesburg, will be accompanying the team and taking care of all their meals on the trip. He will also be serving Nederburg wines to the teams VIP’s.

Higgs will be an invaluable addition to the team, especially to the riders and staff at the Tour the France. Dr Carol Austin, Head of Performance Support and Medical explains: “During the tour our riders will be under relentless, extreme athletic load. To ensure that they perform at the best and remain healthy our team nutritionist, Dr Robert Child, has designed individualized sports nutrition plans for each athlete. David will preparing food which is nutritious, delicious and diverse for our athletes in accordance with these plans. We are delighted to have David on board; he is a highly regarded South African culinary expert and passionate team fan. As a two time finisher of the Cape-Epic mountain bike race he has personal experience of the extreme demands of our sport, and the importance of food as nourishment to an athlete’s body, mind and soul!”

Claudia Colussi, global general manager for Nederburg, said: “It is an honour for Nederburg support this major boost for the sport on the continent. By investing in talent and training, the initiative is investing in Africa’s future.

She said Nederburg’s support for the team mirrored its investment in South African winemaking. The brand, established in 1791, provides training and technical support to Papkuilsfontein Vineyards, one of the most significant empowerment ventures in the South African winemaking industry. The 975 ha farm, situated near Darling in one of the Cape’s premier wine-growing areas, also supplies grapes to Nederburg, contributing to its award-winning wines.

Commenting on his role, Higgs said: “I have done some special events and cooked for incredible people in my career. But looking after the nutritional needs of the first African team at the world’s biggest bike race is an honour. I would like to thank Douglas for entrusting me with the task ahead and The Saxon Hotel and Nederburg for the opportunity and time.”

About MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for Qhubeka. In 2015, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are inviting you to help them mobilise 5,000 kids on bicycles. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief (worldbicyclerelief.org) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since World Bicycle Relief’s founding in 2005, it has delivered more than 220,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people in need. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.

MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Learn more about the team at www.teammtnqhubeka.com.

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