MILAN (VN) — Deloitte Consulting will sponsor South Africa’s MTN-Qhubeka in 2016, when the team will race as Dimension Data, and will pave the way for Mark Cavendish’s arrival.
MTN announced Tuesday morning Cavendish will join the team. He will come with long-time helpers Mark Renshaw, also from Etixx-Quick-Step, and Bernhard Eisel, from Sky.
“I’m super excited about becoming a part of the team for 2016,” Cavendish said in a press statement. “It is a team that I have watched closely as it has grown, especially over this season and been really impressed with the spirit, strength and dynamics of the group.
“To join it with the target of helping to win even more races with other strong, experienced household cycling names like Mark Renshaw, Edvald Boasson-Hagen, Tyler Farrar, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Steve Cummings, and of course Bernie Eisel is going to be real special, as well as assisting the talent of the young, African riders to top level success.”
The Pro Continental team also announced Tuesday its new professional services sponsor Deloitte “from 2016 onwards.”
It follows last Friday’s announcement that information technology company Dimension Data would take over title sponsorship from MTN Telecommunications company. MTN will leave the team as planned at the close of 2015.
“Deloitte is extremely proud to become a key sponsor of Africa’s leading cycling team, which will be known as Team Dimension Data from 2016 onwards,” said Jim Moffatt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
“The team strives for operational and professional excellence. Be the best. Innovate to train harder. Push the limits and set new goals. All the while, they have an equally important underlying goal to make an impact in their community. The example they set, on and off the bike, is strong and admirable for everyone to follow.”
“Mark Cavendish joining our team is a huge step forward for the team as we strive to get to the next level in world cycling,” team principal Douglas Ryder said in a press release.
“To also integrate Mark Renshaw and Bernie Eisel is a game changer in terms of performance and experience, which, added to the incredible talent we already have in the team opens up many possibilities for us. We have seen how success has brought fantastic new partners to our team in Dimension Data and Deloitte and the impact that it has had on our current bike partners like Cervelo. It is even more meaningful to tie that all together to achieve bigger impact for Qhubeka, the charity we ride for.”
The team will likely take the name Dimension Data-Qhubeka for 2016. The Qhubeka charity provides poor Africans bicycles in exchange for good deeds, such as collecting a certain amount of trash or growing a certain number of trees.
Deloitte might not be in the title, but it will provide enough cash for Cavendish and his helpers to join. According to the company, it earned a record $35.2 billion in revenues in the 2015 fiscal year.
Ryder and the team spoke only about 2016, and not the length of Cavendish’s contract.
Cavendish has won 26 stages in the Tour de France and the road race at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen. After three years at Etixx-Quick-Step, he will step down from the WorldTour level and join the Pro Continental team that races many of the top races.
MTN raced in the Tour de France for the first time this July and won a stage on Nelson Mandela day with Brit Steve Cummings. In the Vuelta a España, it won a stage with Kristian Sbaragli.
The squad has grown from a small, third-division team in South Africa, but continues to help Africa’s best cyclists. In 2015, 14 Africans were on the 24-man roster.
Cavendish will reportedly bring along two sport directors, one likely being Brian Holm, and one soigneur.