Successful Vuelta a España Debut for MTN-Qhubeka
Adriano Malori (Movistar) won the final 10km TT stage of the Vuelta a Espana. Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) was 2nd and Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) placed 3rd on the stage. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung had Jaco Venter finish the stage in a good 24th position.
The final stage of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana had no effect on the final overall classification with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) winning the race overall. Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) rounded out the GC podium. MTN-Qhubeka had Sergio Pardilla secure a top 20 result for the team by ending the race in 17th overall. A great result in our first ever grand tour.
MTN-Qhubeka would also be 1 of only 5 teams to finish the race with its full compliment of 9 riders, a feat we are really proud of considering our 6 grand tour debutantes. There were many highlights during the course of the race too. Starting the event off with a great 12th place in the team time trial was a really nice surprise. The young South African champion, Louis Meintjes once again confirmed his potential by riding to 5th on La Camperona. Taking the white combinations leader jersey with Pardilla for a day and also ending the race as the 12th team overall were results that came as a bonus to our team too.
Merhawi Kudus, being the youngest rider in the race, showed his grit and determination to finish even after his massive high speed crash on stage 6. Kristian Sbaragli showed his consistency in the opening weeks sprints while Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Jaco Venter and Jay Thomson all animated the race by being in multiple breaks throughout the race. Gerald Ciolek also did a great job guiding the younger riders through each and every stage, making sure all 9 riders reached the finish in Santiago.
The amount of support the team got at the race and from back home was astounding and also really appreciated, so from all at Team MTN-Qhubeka, we thank you.