Over the past few year the South African Team Dimension Data has been making a good impression on the cycling world. The team began in 2008 as the MTN Energade Road Team, which at the time was only known to riders in South Africa. In 2013, some interesting named began riding for the team, such as Gerald Ciolek and Louis Meintjest. In 2015, Edvald Boasson Hagen transferred to the team, and Team Dimension Data entered the UCI World Tour. In the meantime, the team has become well-known and has several attractive riders to watch out for. Here are the most significant names.
Team Dimension Data’s key riders: Mark Cavendish
Mark Cavendish’s breakthrough was in 2007 when he won the Scheldeprijs for the T-Mobile Team. During the years that followed he showed what a world-class sprinter he was: he has no less that 30 stage victories in the Tour de France to his name, 15 stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and three stages in the Vuelta a España. His most significant win was in 2011, when he won the UCI Road World Championships road race. In recent years he hasn’t dominated the sprint as he once did, but it is too early to write him off. In 2019 he is scheduled to ride the Tour de France once again.
Edvald Boasson Hagen
The Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen is multi-talented. He won two stages in the Tour de France in 2011, taking the first stage during a bunch sprint, and bagging the second victory as the strongest man in a breakaway group. He’s also a good time trial rider—a skill he often puts to good use during stage races that last around a week. He has won the Eneco Tour twice, and the Tour of Norway three times. This year we will see him in action during Paris–Roubaix and the other Spring Classics.
Roman Kreuziger is a rider we have long thought could have make it onto the podium in the Tour de France. He finished the race in the top 10 on three separate occasions and with 5th as his best spot. He has also won the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of Switzerland. The one-day hilly classics also suit his riding style well. In the past he has won the Clásica de San Sebastián and the Amstel Gold Race. In 2019, we will see him in action during the Spring Classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. Also keep an eye out for him during the Tour de France.
At 36 years of age, Enrico Gasparotto is a real veteran. His favourite race is without a doubt the Amstel Gold Race. He won the race in 2012 and 2016, and was 3rd in both 2010 and 2018. His victory in 2016 for the small Wanty–Groupe Gobert team was perhaps the best of them all, as he clearly demonstrated that he was not ready to put out to grass just yet. Gasparotto appears to enjoy racing in the Netherlands. In 2008 he won the general classification in the Ster Elektrotour. This year we will certainly see him in action during the Amstel Gold Race.
For a long time, Tom-Jelte Slagter was seen as one of the best Dutch riders of the future. He made a big impression in 2013 by winning the Tour Down Under and he won two stages in Paris–Nice in 2014. However, following this initial success, he had to make do with victories in minor stage races. He is nevertheless still a rider to keep an eye on when in the hills, and we still keep the vague hope that he will show some of the form of his earlier years during the 2019 season.