Following the completion of stage 14 of the 104th Giro d'Italia finishing atop the Monte Zoncolan, Team Qhubeka ASSOS' (TeamQhubeka.com) European and Italian champion Giacomo Nizzolo has withdrawn from the race.
The 32-year-old won his maiden Grand Tour stage in sensational fashion taking victory in stage 13 in Verona, ending a near decade-long wait for the victory and sparking emotional scenes.
Nizzolo had specifically prepared for the sprint opportunities at the Giro in order to finally achieve his goal of winning a stage. After finishing a tough stage on Monte Zoncolan the decision was taken for him to withdraw, in order for him to rest and recover and then, together with the team, focus on his upcoming goals.
It concludes an excellent race for the Italian after also twice finishing second – on stages two and five – while also wearing the leader's jersey for the points classification, the maglia ciclamino.
Nizzolo's win came just two days after that of debutant Mauro Schmid in Montalcino, and in addition to strong individual performances from Victor Campenaerts and Max Walscheid.
Everybody knows how much I love this race, and what it means to me. To finally win a stage here has been a dream come true, and the raw emotion at the finish line in Verona showed that. I will treasure that memory for the rest of my life.
I came into the race in good condition, with fast legs and focus on the flat sprints, but have been struggling on the climbs which has really taken its toll. So we decided it would be best for me to stop, and to recover, to look forward to the future.
For our team this has been an incredible Giro d'Italia so far. We speak about the spirit of Ubuntu within our squad – "I am because we are" – and I think it's evident for everyone to see in the way we are racing just how tight we are as a group and organisation.
My win in Verona wasn't just a victory for me and those behind the scenes but as importantly it continued to showcase our team's purpose in riding for something more, for the impact that bicycles can have in changing lives which we are doing everyday together with the Qhubeka Charity.
Jean Smyth(Head of Communications)
Mobile: +27 63 4701 1710 or +31625739033
About Team Qhubeka ASSOS:
Team Qhubeka ASSOS is a purpose-led, high-performance team, fighting to win on the world's biggest stage, to inspire hope and create opportunity. Founded in 2007, Team Qhubeka ASSOS (formerly NTT Pro Cycling) became the first-ever African cycling team to gain a UCI WorldTour license, in 2016.
We achieved our first major win in 2013 when Gerald Ciolek won Milan-San Remo, one of the five Monuments of cycling. We have competed in six Tour de France's and notched up 7 stage wins, with Mark Cavendish wearing the coveted Yellow Jersey at the 2016 Tour de France.
We are a multicultural, diverse team with bases in South Africa, the Netherlands and Italy. There are 19 nationalities represented across our World Tour and continental feeder team rosters. Our focus on developing African cycling has resulted in more than 55 riders from the African continent be given the opportunity to race on the world stage, since the team's inception.
We race to help people to move forward with bicycles through our relationship with Qhubeka Charity. Through our work with Qhubeka, we have contributed to the distribution of over 30 000 bicycles in communities in South Africa.
Qhubeka is a charity that moves people forward with bicycles.People earn bicycles through our programmes, improving their access to schools, clinics and jobs.
A bicycle is a tool that helps people to travel faster and further, and to carry more. In the face of extreme and persistent poverty, bicycles can change lives by helping to address socioeconomic challenges at the most basic level – helping people to get where they need to go.
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