Nicholas Dlamini becomes first Black African to start Tour de France
Nicholas Dlamini will become the first Black South African to race the #TourdeFrance, Qhubeka Assos officials confirmed Friday. Dlamini will be part of its roster as the team starts its seventh Tour de France in franchise history. Dlamini’s selection is a landmark moment for the South African-registered team, officials said.
“For Nic, what a moment though — his story is simply an incredible one and for him to have earned this opportunity shows that dreams really do come true, and for the team to have provided that opportunity makes me incredibly proud,” said principal Douglas Ryder. “He’s always been an individual that has stepped up and taken the opportunities that he’s fought for … this will culminate in an incredible moment for him, #SouthAfrica, and especially for our team.”
The 25-year-old grew up in an informal settlement in #CapeTown, and started as a runner before his talents saw him move to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom, South Africa, and later joined the team’s UCI Continental outfit – Team Qhubeka — before joining the WorldTour in 2018.
Dlamini was involved in an incident last year in a confrontation with South African authorities that left him with a broken arm.
“Being selected to ride in my first Tour de France is an absolute dream come true for me,” Dlamini said. “It’s always been an absolute childhood dream for me and now that I’m about to live it makes it feel surreal.”
Also getting tipped to race are American Sean Bennett in his Tour debut, with Fabio Aru and Sergio Henao leading the GC.