Armée and Schmid Blend Experience and Youth for Team Qhubeka ASSOS
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is pleased to confirm a further two riders added to our roster for 2021 in Sander Armée and Mauro Schmid, to join Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour team.
Armée joins us from Lotto Soudal where he has been since 2014 and brings invaluable experience to the team, while Schmid is one of the rising young stars of Swiss cycling with a very bright future.
34-year-old Belgian Armée is a strong general classification rider with excellent ability as a rouleur, and so will provide ample support to our team in our ambitions in the season’s biggest stage races.
A former teammate of Victor Campenaerts, Armée’s palmares is an impressive one that includes a stage win at the Vuelta a Espana in 2017, victory in stage 3a of Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine in 2020 and general classification top-10 finishes at the Tour of Norway.
Schmid joins us having spent two years at Continental level, initially with the Swiss Cycling Academy and then most recently at Leopard Pro Cycling. Describing himself as a punchy all-rounder that time trials well, complemented by a background in track cycling and cross-country skiing, the 21-year-old is a product of the impressive Swiss development system and he counts Fabian Cancellara among his heroes. Growing up the Tour de Suisse was a race that he dreamt of winning and with our team he now takes the next step toward potentially realising that dream in the future.
Having previously finished second on GC at the Tour of Black Sea (2018), in 2020 he was 11th on GC at the Tour of Luxembourg and finished inside the top-20 on GC at the Czech Tour, at which he was also sixth on a stage.
This announcement sees our roster now have 25 confirmed riders for the 2021 season with our final two riders for next season to be named in due course.
I'm super-motivated to join Team Qhubeka ASSOS next year. Cycling is a passion for me and I feel the shared level of passion in the team, and with their staff.
I’ve had some personal success in the past but that won't stop me from looking to improve even further; and so with the passion, knowledge, equipment and race mentality of Team Qhubeka ASSOS – I want to make this happen.
I want to use my experience and give the best of myself to achieve all of the team's goals next year. It will also be nice to team up again with Victor Campenaerts, we were in the same team for two years and have also lived in the same village for a number of years too.
The goal of this team is not only winning bike races but the team also raises funds to change lives through bicycles and to help mobilise people. For me this makes the team even more special, so it's an honour to be part of this.
I‘m looking incredibly forward to make the step to the WorldTour with Team Qhubeka ASSOS.
It was always a dream of me since I started bike racing about 10 years ago and this is absolutely a dream come true for me. I look forward to help my teammates so that we can achieve the goals that the team has set for itself.
I am also very proud to represent the Qhubeka Charity which has a huge influence on people‘s lives. I can’t wait to find out more and meet the people directly involved to ensure that I use my talents on the bike to the best of my ability to also drive aware to such a great organisation.
Gino van Oudenhove – Sports Director
I have followed Sander since he was one of the best under 23 riders of his generation. He is a super experienced professional who has spent most of his career in the service of general classification riders, so we see him as being an excellent fit around Domenico Pozzovivo, Sergio Henao and Fabio Aru. Added to that, Sander can also finish it off himself when opportunity presents itself as was the case in his latest stage win at this year's Poitou-Charente.
As a team we are always on the quest for young, talented and interesting riders that could fit well into either Continental team or at WorldTour level. Mauro is a talent that’s been on the radar of many WorldTour teams who are well aware of the good work done by the Swiss Cycling Academy. So we feel privileged to have him on board with us and to watch him develop and to assist him in the next steps to become a valuable WorldTour rider.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of NTT Pro Cycling.
Jean Smyth (Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31 625 739 033
About NTT Pro Cycling:
Founded in 2007, NTT Pro Cycling (formerly Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) (http://www.NTTProCycling.com) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. With the support of our headline sponsor and technology innovation partner, NTT, we are the most purpose-driven, performance-led, and technology-enabled team in pro cycling today.
Our ambition is to continue to race at the highest levels in world cycling, to develop riders to realise their full potential and to inspire and motivate people across the African continent to ride bicycles.
We have bases in South Africa, Denmark, the Netherlands and Italy.
We also ride to raise awareness for Qhubeka, a global charity operating in South Africa, through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
The hands on the back of the team race jersey are a reminder that every Qhubeka bicycle is a helping hand up to a beneficiary, which are provided through Qhubeka's learn-to-earn and work-to-earn programmes.
Qhubeka (https://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.
Visit us at our new website hello.global.ntt
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