Team Qhubeka ASSOS (TeamQhubeka.com) has announced its seven-rider line-up for the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, which will see our team lean on the road leadership qualities of Simon Clarke in what promises to be a very tough race.
The 34-year-old Australian recently made a strong debut for the team at Étoile de Bessèges, where Michael Gogl finished sixth overall and Giacomo Nizzolo performed excellently in the sprints, and he now takes to the start line of a race that looks to provide an intense early-season test for all of the competitors.
Clarke will be joined by 25-year-old compatriot Robert Power; as the highly-rated man from Perth makes his first start since joining the team at the beginning of the season.
Belgian climber Sander Armée together with Italian Grand Tour champion Fabio Aru, who both recently rode at Tour de la Provence, will welcome the opportunity to further test themselves in the early season, as they take to the start-line for the 186.8km opening stage from Biot to Gourdon. While the strong, versatile duo of Lukasz Wisniowski and Emil Vinjebo take to their second races of the season, where they will look to play important supporting roles throughout.
The line-up for the three-day race is completed by Belgian Dimitri Claeys, a rider who will have one eye on the upcoming Classics campaign but will be sure to use the opportunity with the rough racing on offer to sharpen his condition ahead of the racing to come.
As Team Qhubeka ASSOS will be doing throughout the year, we are privileged to have one of our dedicated fans announce the line-up for this race, in their own creative way.
The team for Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var has been put together in a video release by Adam Nunn from South Africa. You can see this video across our team's social media channels. Thank you Adam!
Race line-up [squad number]:
Simon Clarke 
Robert Power 
Fabio Aru 
Sander Armée 
Dimitri Claeys 
Lukasz Wisniowski 
Emil Vinjebo 
Weather-wise it’s looking pretty good for the race which will be great news! It’s race number two for me for Team Qhubeka ASSOS and so I’m looking forward to getting in amongst it again with a new group of guys. Obviously I’m still getting to know all of the team (from a racing perspective) and it’s a completely different group here compared to Besseges, so I’m looking forward to racing with some new guys.
It’s a tough little race this so it’s a good chance to check your condition and to see how things are going for the spring season. There will be no hiding at Haute Var, you can’t come there if you haven’t put in the hard work so it will be good to see how it’s all going.
The race is three tough stages, all uphill finishes and all over 3000m of climbing, everyday. It’s going to be a tough challenge but a good block of racing, that’s for sure.
Alex Sans Vega – Sports Director
It’s another exciting race to start the season: three stages, all pretty hard and with a quality field; so it’s going be a very high level race.
For us, we want to perform at a good level and also use the race as a final preparation, for some of guys, who will be looking towards the ‘opening weekend’ in Belgium – the first big Classics of the season. Of course as a team we strive to always be successful, and that will be our goal. If we can do that and include a good result then that will be excellent for the team and the strong start we’ve made to the season already.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About Team Qhubeka ASSOS:
Team Qhubeka ASSOS (TeamQhubeka.com) is a purpose-led, high-performance team, fighting to win on the world's biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France’s and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka (Qhubeka.org) is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles. People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
All images attached to the press release can be used with the respective image credit in combination to this release.
Clarke to guide Team Qhubeka ASSOS at Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var