King, Thwaites sign with Dimension Data
American Ben King and British rider Scott Thwaites will join Dimension Data for 2017.
King, 27, heads to the African team after three years with Cannondale – Drapac. The former U.S. national road champion won a stage of Criterium Internationale in 2015 and took a stage of the Tour of California this year. He recently capped his 2016 campaign with a strong ride at the Vuelta a España. A proficient breakaway artist, King believes his style should fit in well with his new team.
“The team races with guts and everyone gets opportunities,” he said.
“I love to race my bike for the pleasure and beauty of it, the lifestyle it encourages, and the people and places I get to build relationships with through it. However, as I’ve matured as a rider, I’ve found that motivation and drive hinge more on ‘why’ than on ‘what’ we do,” he said. “Promoting and professionally representing Qhubeka gives my involvement in cycling another higher purpose and fills me with pride.”
King has a European base in Lucca, and will remain in the Italian city.
“Ben King had an incredible La Vuelta showing great depth and consistency, and we see Ben taking a leadership role in mentoring and leading our climber group of riders based out of our training center in Lucca,” said team principal Douglas Ryder.
Dimension Data is currently fighting for its spot in the WorldTour, as one of four teams seeking three remaining positions.
Thwaites, 26, has spent his entire pro career within various iterations of the Bora – Argon 18 program. A strong one-day racer with podium results at Le Samyn and Ronde van Drenthe, he’ll be tasked with supporting and learning from his new team’s classics stars.
“After steadily improving over the last four years in the classics and beginning to break into the top 20, I was looking for a team with some experienced classics riders and knowledgeable directors to help me continue to improve,” he said. “I am really looking forward to supporting Edvald Boasson Hagen in the classics whilst learning from him and sports directors like Roger Hammond to enable me to also fight for top results.”
Dimension Data also confirmed its signing of Tour of Utah winner Lachlan Morton, who has raced with U.S. domestic team Jelly Belly for the last two seasons and was King’s teammate in 2014.