With Africa’s first ProContinental team, MTN-Qhubeka, about to make their Tour de France debut, Cycling South Africa released a message of support for the four national riders taking part in the three-week tour.
“I would like to congratulate all these riders on their selection to participate in the most prestigious event in world cycling. They have worked exceptionally hard and have been rewarded for their efforts,” said Newman.
“We can assure them that the whole nation will be behind them as they tackle this gruelling race. I also congratulate Douglas Ryder and his team for pursuing a dream, which they have now achieved and are making South Africa proud.”
Impey was the first South African to wear the coveted yellow jersey, in 2013, but he was not the first local rider to participate.
That honour belonged to Robbie Hunter, who became a national cycling hero for his ground-breaking achievement back in 2001. Hunter was also the first South African to win a stage in this prestigious event in 2007.
John-Lee Augustyn also completed the gruelling event in 2008.
Newman said these two riders had paved the way for other young riders to show what they were capable of.
He wished this year’s participants all the best when they rolled out from Utrecht on July 4 and said CSA would follow their progress all the way to Paris.