Team Qhubeka ASSOS (www.TeamQhubeka.com) has named an exciting lineup for Paris-Nice which starts on Sunday, featuring a return for Giacomo Nizzolo, who took a stunning stage victory at the race in 2020, and a debut for Colombia’s Sergio Henao.
The eight-stage race is expected to feature a number of sprint opportunities which will see the European and Italian champion ably supported by the now familiar faces of compatriot Matteo Pelucchi and Germany's Max Walscheid.
Nizzolo sprinted to a hugely impressive victory on stage two of the 2020 edition of this race and it will once again serve as an important event looking ahead to the rest of the season.
Time trialist Victor Campenaerts, who has been in excellent form, will have his eye on what the 14.4km effort in stage three will provide in his favoured discipline.
The later stages around Nice will see the general classification decided and it's here that the climbing skills of Fabio Aru, supported by Sander Armee and a debut ride from Henao, will come for the fore.
The impressive Colombian is the first rider ever from that country to ride for our team and we're excited to see what he is able to not just in this race but for the season to come.
Our team has been doing this initiative since the start of the season and look forward to continuing to look at ways to bring our incredible fans closer to the team they support.
Paris-Nice line-up [squad numbers]:
- Giacomo Nizzolo 
- Fabio Aru 
- Sergio Henao 
- Sander Armée 
- Victor Campenaerts 
- Matteo Pelucchi 
- Max Walscheid 
Paris-Nice is obviously one of the toughest races of the year – always stressful and always raced with a high rhythm. I think it will be very important as the next step towards the goals that follow, starting with Milan-Sanremo so it's a race that's definitely very important for the Classics as well.
We're looking forward to being there, to put some work, kilometres and quality into the legs and trying to be sharp and score some results in the sprint stages.
I'm am so happy to finally be back in Europe and to be starting the season with Team Qhubeka ASSOS at Paris-Nice.
I can't wait to get racing with my new team and look forward to playing my part in contributing to our team's goals, and working towards the success of the team.
Gabriele Missaglia - Sports Director
As we've seen the team race so far, we want to ensure overall that we try and play the best possible part we can in the race and race as a team. This has been a key feature starting with what we spoke about during our training camp and something that we will continue at Paris-Nice.
How will we do that? Well, in Giacomo we have a rider who has already won a race this season, and who won a stage here in 2020. We will fully support him in the stages we feel he can contest while Victor and Max will be looking to putting in really strong time trial performances on stage three. They've both been riding really well, so I'm excited about what they can offer us.
For the general classification we have a strong group in Fabio, Sander and Sergio. It's great to finally have the latter link up with us and we know that he can be an important rider for the season to come so it will be interesting to see what his level is at the moment.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.
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Nizzolo returns to Paris-Nice as Henao makes Team Qhubeka ASSOS debut