A new South African team, Cyclingbox Racing, was launched “at the last minute” for the 2019 season, director Brandon Rowe confirmed today.
The team will primarily aim to hone and develop the young riders in the set-up, who will be mentored by veteran cyclist Jean Wessels.
Rowe has assisted Wessels, 44, in sponsoring a team for the past two years.
In 2017, brothers Dusty and Tyler Day were sponsored by the brand, while last season the team was made up four riders – Wessels, Wyatt du Plessis, Callum Hilton and Michael Pretorius.
The brand was also involved with the TEG Procycling team at the beginning of last year before the team achieved Continental status towards the end of the season.
This year the team will have a new look and set-up, with only younger riders coming on board.
Rowe said they only decided to go through with this change “a couple of weeks ago”.
“There will obviously be loads of competition this year so we’re not necessarily aiming to win races but more gearing towards developing the younger riders,” Rowe told In the Bunch today.
“Jean has a lot of experience and he’s been racing for ages with the pros. We’re hoping he can help develop the younger riders.”
Rowe added that in previous years their goal for the team was to finish on the podium, but those targets had shifted more towards development this time round.
The Johannesburg- and Pretoria-based team will comprise Wessels, Christopher Cheze, 22, and 18-year-olds Luca Gnudi and Hennie van Wyk on the road.
Jade Skinner, an 18-year-old female cyclist, will also continue to represent the team in mountain-biking. She has been involved with the team over the past two seasons.
“Jean will probably be pushing for all of them to race with the elites,” Rowe said of the road outfit.
“I think the team can do pretty well. There’s definitely room for growth.”
Wessels was still scouting around for a fifth rider for the team, Rowe added.