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NTT Pro Cycling will continue as Qhubeka-Assos in the WorldTour

South African team was on the ropes after losing title sponsor

Photo by: Sirotti

NTT Pro Cycling has found sponsors to carry on in the top flight of men’s road racing, as team principal Doug Ryder secured title sponsorship from Swiss cycling clothing manufacturer Assos. Once more the squad will have charity Qhubeka as part of its title, continuing as Qhubeka-Assos. Having seen the team in its togs during this season, Assos has signed on for three years.

The outfit was MTN-Qhubeka from 2011 to 2015, Team Dimension Data from 2016 to 2019 and NTT Pro Cycling for one year.

Last week team manager Bjarne Riis, the Danish Tour de France winner in 1996, announced he was leaving his position as manager after only a year. Riis’s Virtu Cycling company also had a minority share of the team and considered purchasing the whole entity, but abandoned those plans.

A member of the WorldTour since 2016, NTT was the penultimate-ranked WorldTour team this year, with three ProTour teams ranked ahead of it. Israel Start-up Nation was the last-ranked WorldTour squad. NTT had a Grand Tour win at the Giro d’Italia courtesy of Ben O’Connor, who is off to AG2R-Citroën with fellow new guys Greg Van Avermaet and Bob Jungels.

With the Qhubeka-Assos situation sorted, ProTeam Alpecin-Fenix, home of Mathieu Van der Poel, will be invited to all World Tour events, and ProTeam Arkea-Samsic, where Nairo Quintana plies his trade, will be invited to all World Tour Classics. Each Grand Tour can invite two wild cards from the ProTeam ranks.