Sparks will fly as the 2021 Tour de France kicks off with South Africa’s Qhubeka World Tour Cycling team making its seventh appearance.
The annual men’s multiple-stage bicycle race primarily held in France will get underway on Saturday.
Like other grand tours, the event which consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days, commences this Saturday until Sunday 18 July 2021.
The team from South Africa will be represented by eight riders, including Nicholas Dlamini, a Cape Town born athlete who makes history as the first black South African cyclist to participate in the 108th Tour de France.
South Africa’s Team Qhubeka World Tour Cycling team with the motto of ‘Bicycles Change lives’ will be making it’s 7th appearance this year, having done well in 2015 with Steve Cummings’ stage win on Mandela Day.
In a statement on Friday, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, sent his best wishes to the team ahead of the race.
“Allow me to first congratulate Nicholas Dlamini rising from humble beginnings to the international stage. This is a demonstration that tenacity, determination and selflessness are indeed virtues that birth greatness, as long as one remains focused at all times.
“To the entire South African registered team that will be carrying the country’s flag high, go out there and represent us well. You have stood the test of time, especially during these difficult times when the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking global havoc.
“We agree with your motto that bicycles change lives, as they serve as an instrument of promoting a healthy lifestyle. All the best to the team. We are behind you all the way,” Mthethwa said.
The event starts in Brest, France, where participants will cycle 3,470 kilometres over 21 days, ending in Paris. – SAnews
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