Although they have some notable names in their line-up, manager Kevin Campbell believes teamwork will be essential for the Dimension Data for Qhubeka Continental Team in next month’s Tour of Good Hope.
Rated as South Africa’s premier stage road race, the 491km Tour of Good Hope, presented by Scicon and the City of Drakenstein, will take place in and around Paarl in the Western Cape from March 5 to 9.
Current title-holder Kent Main and 2016 winner Stefan de Bod are two of their standout riders, but Campbell emphasised the importance of teamwork in the five-stage event.
“Good individual riders will not be able to win this event without a strong team working well behind them,” said Campbell.
“This is an unpredictable race because the weather can change daily.
“The heat is always a factor and there are strong foreign riders who can add an element of surprise.”
He felt stages three (137km; 2 687m ascent) and four (134km; 2 900m) would be “especially tough and the GC will probably be decided on these two days”.
Although it is relatively early in the year for them, Campbell said they wanted to establish a winning culture from the start.
“It is an early season event for us, but Louis Visser competed in an U23 Nations Cup event in Cameroon recently and all three of our SA riders took part in the national road champs.
“While the road-race result in Oudtshoorn did not go as planned, the three SA riders are in good form.
Besides the SA trio of De Bod, Main and Visser, the outfit includes three overseas riders – Luca Mozzato and Matteo Sobrero from Italy and New Zealand’s Ollie Jones.