A new pro team from South Africa



<br />A new pro team from South Africa: Barloworld <br />By Jean-Francois Quenet in Johannesburg <br /><br />There will be a new English speaking team in the professional peloton next year: Team Barloworld, from South Africa. It will be a TT3 for the first year, and will consist of 10 riders with the majority being South Africans: National champion Tiaan Kannemeyer and runner up Ryan Cox coming from Team Cologne in Germany, alongside world U-23 championship time trial silver medallist James Perry, former SA champion Jacques Fullard and two raising stars of SA cycling Jaco Odendaal and Jaco De Witt, both aged 20. <br /><br />Australian strongman Sean Sullivan from Tasmania has been added to the roster, as well as neo-pro Sylvain Calzati from France. Two other French riders should complete the line up soon. <br /><br />Team Barloworld will make his debut in South Africa in January and will also compete in Europe for 5 months, the first appearance being the Circuit des Mines in France (April 26-May 1). There will be a strong French flavour as the team will be led in Europe by the respected Michel Gros, formerly with Festina and Jean Delatour. In South Africa, the team will be coached by Graeme McCallum, coming from Microsoft. Team Barloworld will ride Shimano equipped Scott USA bikes. <br /><br />The manager of the team is John Robertson, who has led the domestic squad Minolta for the last five years and will continue to do so as well. &quot;I've always had the dream to take South African cycling further and by sending South African professional cyclists to Europe. Thanks to Barloworld, this is now possible,&quot; Robertson said. &quot;The agreement with Barloworld is valid for 5 years and the goal is to take part in the Tour de France within 5 years.&quot; <br /><br />South Africa is a country where the bike races attract the biggest number of participants in the world. One week ago, 22,000 cyclists took part in the 94.7 cycle challenge. The Cape Town Argus will again see about 40,000 people on their bikes in March. It will obviously be one of Team Barloworld's first big goals and the Frenchmen should be impressed. <br />
<br />I am well impressed! The TdF in 5 years is a tall order but any SA cycling exposure world wide is brilliant!<br /><br />Double thumbs up to Barloworld!<br /><br />It's amazing how much corporate interest is generated by 'fun rides' like the 94.7 and the Argus.

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