Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung today completed the week long La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon. Africa’s first ever Professional Continental team finished the race strong with Tsgabu Grmay placing second on the final stage. Songezo Jim was the highest finisher for the team overall, in 4th while Grmay moved up to 5th. The team finished second overall in the team classification after 20 year old Louis Meintjes finished 10th on the general classification.
“I am really happy with this result,” Jim said. “We came here with a young team but we road as a unit and can be proud of this week. I was really focused coming into the race. My training in December went really well and although I am a climber and there aren’t many hills here, I was happy to be aggressive against the sprinters. My team was amazing in supporting me and looking after me, especially during the decisive break on stage 6.”
Sports director, Kevin Campbell, was in charge of managing the team this week. “I am very happy with how the team conducted itself,” he said. “We had a few crashes and broken bikes but picked ourselves up and finished in the top 10 on nearly every stage. To come here with such a young team and race against tough European and African competition and be one of the strongest teams at the end of the race is encouraging. We placed 3 guys in the top 10 and nearly won the team competition, this bodes well for the future.”
Jim hails from Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was orphaned at 12 years old and only discovered bike racing at 14, when transferred to live with family in Cape Town. Up until that point he had never ridden a bicycle before. Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung is committed to discovering and developing the best African talent to race on the world stage.