Discovery is partnering with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka - the first African cycling team to compete in the Tour de France - to celebrate firsts using innovative tech and to empower communities through cycling.
Any sportsperson knows that having access to the right information at the right time can help you make informed decisions and give you a competitive edge.
This was the case for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, which made history as the very first African cycling team to compete in the Tour de France. Their achievement was largely credited to the way the team used innovative technologies to apply insights from data analytics - an approach to success that is shared by Discovery, the team's official wellness partner.
Using innovative technology and data to drive performance
"Sports teams are leveraging the latest innovation in technology to significantly enhance their performance and transform the way they approach a race," says Douglas Ryder, a professional cyclist and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka principal.
"We're excited to partner with Discovery because they share this vision of high performance and sustainable growth through innovation. By applying data-driven research and real-time technology, together we are able to consistently achieve pinnacles of success."
Cycling is becoming increasingly popular - both for its significant health benefits and for the team spirit and comradery it can foster, not to mention the sheer exhilaration of the sport.
A team of history makers
But it's not just about the tech. The team of cyclists themselves are inspiring examples of positivity, dedication and excellence.
Take for example Nicholas Dlamini, a recent sign-on to the team. Raised in the Capricorn settlement in Muizenberg, Nic became the first black South African to ride in the Tour de France in 2017. Despite his initial limited means and opportunities, he succeeded and made it as a neo pro rider in Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Nicknamed the "Beast", Reinardt Janse van Rensburg is exemplary of achieving greatness for South African sport. He was one of only three South African riders to have raced on a World Tour team before Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka made the step up to the World Tour. He's has been touted as arguably the best lead-out man in the world.
Mark Cavendish began racing professionally in 2006. He is a 30-time Tour de France stage winner who is also a former world champion and has a total of 145 UCI pro wins to date. He exemplifies consistent excellence, having performed at the top for more than 10 years - something that not many people can do.
Merhawi Kudus comes from Eritrea, a country with a strong cycling culture but a lack in support and infrastructure. These kinds of obstacles have made Merhawi's achievements that much more rewarding. "Cycling is a big sport in my country," he says. "I feel some pressure to achieve something significant in cycling but most of that pressure comes from myself. I feel like my dream is for me and for African cycling. I would like to make an impact on the sport. This is my dream."
The team, together with their sponsors, are also committed to fulfilling dreams and changing lives in local communities through Qhubeka, a non-profit company that uses bicycles to connect people to schools, clinics and jobs. (Read more about how bicycles change lives here.)
Moving communities forward with Qhubeka
Qhubeka was founded in 2005. The name in an Nguni word that means "to progress" or "to move forward", because bicycles help people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. This means they can get where they need to go and do things that are difficult without transport, like fetching supplies, travelling to school or work, visiting a clinic, or providing emergency help after a disaster.
By recognising the struggle of communities with limited transport options and acknowledging that bicycles are tools of change, Discovery is committing to raising funds for 500 bicycles to help people get to work and kids get to school.
Cycling to better health
Discovery is also working with Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka to educate society about getting active and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. Cycling is becoming increasingly popular - both for its significant health benefits and for the team spirit and comradery it can foster, not to mention the sheer exhilaration of the sport.
Dinesh Govender, Discovery Vitality Chief Executive Officer says, "Through Team Vitality, Discovery is hoping to grow opportunities and participation by further opening the doors to cycling, encouraging anyone from beginners and amateurs of all ages to learn and enjoy all that cycling has to offer."
Discovery is committing to raising funds for 500 bicycles to help people get to work and kids get to school.
Get cash back on a brand new road or mountain bike at Cycle Lab
A good cycle can do wonders for your performance, but they're not easy on the pocket. That's where Discovery Vitality can help.
The Vitality Active Rewards Bike Booster benefit offers you up to 25% cash back on a new road or mountain bike at Cycle Lab, plus a free Team Vitality cycling membership. Activate Bike Booster and then get moving to achieve your weekly Vitality Active Rewards goals.
Are you cycling enthusiast, or keen to become one?
Team Vitality is South Africa's most popular running and cycling club, and it can help you get fit, save money and connect with like-minded people. Join Team Vitality and get 50% cash back on registration entry fees for selected events.
You'll also receive a great Team Vitality starter pack with race gear and vouchers worth over R1 000. Plus you'll have access to our VIP hospitality at certain events on the Team Vitality race calendar!
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