Nic Dlamini becomes first black South African to ride the Tour de France

South Africa’s Nic Dlamini sets off on cycling’s Tour de France on Saturday 26 June, a long way from the township of his childhood and hoping his odyssey inspires youngsters growing up in similarly modest circumstances to reject gun crime.

Dlamini’s selection is a landmark moment for South African cycling and for Team Qhubeka ASSOS (TQA), the South African-registered team, as he becomes the latest rider to progress from their development team to the UCI WorldTour level, and subsequently earn selection to compete at the world’s biggest cycling race.

The 25-year-old, who grew up in an informal settlement in Cape Town, first caught the eye as a runner before moving into cycling where his talents saw him move to the UCI’s World Cycling Centre Africa in Potchefstroom, South Africa. It is from here that he first earned a spot on TQA’s UCI Continental outfit, based in Lucca, Italy.

In his second season with the continental team, Dlamini rode as a stagiaire on the TQA WorldTour team and then turned professional in 2018. Since then he raced across the world, including twice competing at the Vuelta a Espana (2019 and 2020) and has worn the king of the mountains jersey at both the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain.

2020 saw his season heavily affected by an arm injury, as well as the broader impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cycling calendar, but 2021 has seen Dlamini selected to both represent Team South Africa at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and TQA at the Tour de France. We wish Nic every success!