22 October 2013
John-Lee Augustyn will return to professional cycling next year with Team MTN- Qhubeka. The South African returns to the sport after spending time off the bike to recover from a hip injury that undermined his promising career.
Augustyn turned pro with Team Barloworld in 2007 and remained there until 2009 before joining Team Sky at its inception. However, he never fully recovered from a crash in 2007 in which he damaged the head of his femur.
He eventually underwent a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing in 2011 and last year decided to take time off the bike to allow his body to recover.
Itching to get back to racing, Augustyn has spent time training in Italy and has undergone several medical tests with Team MTN-Qhubeka.
‘Happy and motivated’
“I’m really happy and motivated,” Augustyn said in a statement on Monday.
“My family and I have made tough choices and sacrifices in the last few years and now they are paying off. I feel I am back where I belong. To be a professional bike rider is a privilege and I’m very proud to be a member of a team from my own country.”
Team Principal, Douglas Ryder welcomed the news of Augustyn’s signing. “John- Lee is a super-talented South African rider that has seen the absolute highs and lows of cycling. He has ridden every Grand Tour, including a top 50 general classification in the Tour de France.
“We have done a thorough check on his health and he is ready and motivated to get back to the highest levels of world cycling again, and we are happy we can give him this chance.
‘Mentoring our team’
“He is very positive for next year and his experience will go a long way in supporting and mentoring our team as we make our bid to race in the grand tours of world cycling.”
Augustyn said: “I’ve followed the team’s progress this year and I find it very interesting. When I joined Sky as a start-up team, they were very innovative and did new things in cycling. I see Team MTN-Qhubeka as the same with taking African riders and giving them the best scientific support in all departments to become the best in the world.”
Brian Gouldie, MTN South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented: “MTN is very honored to have John-Lee Augustyn choose to sign with the team. There is no doubt that his talent as well as his vast experience will come in handy in the many international races we’ll participate in the next season.”
Team MTN-Qhubeka will have 25 members for the 2014 season. made up of all the riders on the 2013 team and some new additions. It will feature 18 African and seven international riders.
MTN QHUBEKA P/B SAMSUNG 2014 ROSTER
Gerald Ciolek (Ger) , Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu), Sergio Pardilla (Spa), Jay Thomson (RSA), Louis Meintjes (RSA), Johann van Zyl (RSA), Andreas Stauff (Ger), Martin Reimer (Ger), Youcef Reguigui (Alg), Kristian Sbaragli (Ita), Ferekalsi Debesay (Eri), Tsgabu Grmay (Eth), Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa), Meron Russom (Eri), Jani Tewelde (Eri), Songezo Jim (RSA), Bradley Potgieter (RSA), Dennis van Niekerk (RSA), Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) , Jaco Venter (RSA), Martin Wesemann (RSA), Linus Gerdemann (Ger), Merhawi Kudus (Eri), Daniel Teklhaimanot (Eri), John- Lee Augustyn (RSA)