28 August 2014
Team MTN-Qhubeka announced a major signing on Thursday, with Edvald Boasson Hagen, a stage winner in both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, set to join the South African cycling outfit on a two-year contract.
The Norwegian star will part ways with the high profile British team, Team Sky, for whom he has raced for the last five years.
“It’s been five great seasons with Team Sky, but the time has come to seek new challenges,” Boasson Hagen said in a statement.
“MTN-Qhubeka has a very good platform and a framework that fits me very well, so I’m sure this is a very good choice for the next seasons.
Detailing his decision to join MTN-Qhubeka, the Norwegian ace said: “I’ve had several options for the future, among them also World Tour teams, but after some consideration this is the team I most of all want to ride for in the future. They are upgrading the team for next season, but already this year they have received wild cards for most of the races I would like to do next year.
“The team takes part in the Vuelta right now, which is their first Grand Tour. For next year they are targeting the Tour [de France], so I feel safe about the race program, and I really look forward to focus on new goals in the MTN-Qhubeka jersey.
“I have seen the African riders race this year and I hope to help them with my experience as they are great talents. The other thing I really enjoy is this team does not just race for themselves but for a charity.”
MTN-Qhubeka Team Principal Douglas Ryder was thrilled with his team’s new signing. “We are really excited to welcome Edvald Boasson Hagen into Team MTN-Qhubeka,” Ryder said.
“We believe he is one of the best riders in the world and we look forward to seeing him achieve great results for himself, as well as mentor our young African talents. We want to become one of the best teams in the world to assist the African riders to get into the biggest races in cycling and this is a huge step in that direction.
“In the last two years of racing as a Pro Continental team we have seen our riders develop and perform really well. The team has come a long way because the riders love the opportunities they are getting and they try and make every opportunity count.”