Team Dimension Data announced on the rest day of the Tour de France that it will be known as Team NTT next season. The South Africa based team has been called Dimension Data since 2016 when it joined the WorldTour and was MTN-Qhubeka before that. Dimension Data is a South African IT services company that was bought by Japan’s Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 2010.
Recently the team experienced some discord when there was disagreement between performance director Rolf Aldag and team owner Doug Ryder over the exclusion of Mark Cavendish from the Tour de France squad.
1/4 Well what can I say? I’m absolutely heart-broken by the decision that means I won’t be @letour this year. As I have done for my entire career, I targeted a specific time to be at peak form. This has pretty much always resulted in me hitting my goals or coming damn close.
— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) July 2, 2019
Dimension Data has struggled since it joined the WorldTour, finishing at the bottom of the team classification from 2016-2017 and currently sitting as the last WorldTour team of the UCI’s World Ranking, with Pro Continental outfits Cofidis, Total Direct Energie and Wanty-Gobert holding more points. Michael Valgren, who transferred from Astana this season, has earned Dimension Data the most UCI points in 2019. Valgren is riding the Tour de France, where teammate Giacomo Nizzolo is the only DD rider to earn any UCI points at La Grande Boucle so far.
— NTT Pro Cycling (@NTTProCycling) July 6, 2019
Five Pro Continental teams–Arkea-Samsic, B&B Hotels-Vital Concept, Cofidis, Total Direct Energie and Israel Cycling Academy–have applied to join the WorldTour next year. The UCI wishes to keep the number of WorldTour teams at 18, but if the five upstart squads have better sporting criteria than current WorldTour teams that want to keep their status and meet ethical standards, financial stability, and follow the organizational and administrative rules as defined by the UCI to be able to earn a place in the WorldTour, there can be as many as 20 squads in cycling’s highest tier to accommodate the current teams and two new ones. Right now WorldTour Katusha is also behind Cofidis in the World Ranking.