19 November 2014
Cape Town, South Africa
Outstanding HotChillee development rider Nicholas Dlamini has signed his first pro contract. He has joined the feeder team for the South African based MTN-Qhubeka who announced their squad this week.
Nicholas was born in one of the largest townships in the Western Cape and joined the HotChillee Development Rider Programme in 2013. It was set up by HotChillee in partnership with local cycling clubs to support young talent and create a channel for South African riders to compete in Europe.
As part of the programme Nicholas has been mentored by Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, professional cyclist Ben Swift and actress Vanessa Haywood. He is the first rider from the programme to sign a pro contract.
Nicholas Dlamini and Ben Swift outside Nicholas’ home in Capricorn Park
Nicholas Dlamini in the 360NE amateur leader’s jersey with Team Bulls rider Karl Platt on his wheel, Cape Rouleur 2013
Nicholas Dlamini: “I’ve been riding for 7 years and always wanted to be a professional cyclist. Riding for MTN-Qhubeka feeder team really means a lot to me and my family. Mom is very excited to see me going forward as I set example to the other development riders in Cape Town. They now also believe in themselves because we pretty much come from the same background. I am also grateful to everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today, without all the positive structured people I wouldn’t have been where I am now. I am now a role model to up coming stars and have to lead by example. Racing will also help me improve my riding and make me mentally strong. I am looking forward to 2015.”
Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee: “Signing with MTN-Qhubeka makes Nicholas a massive beacon of hope for other riders. We are all so proud of him.”
Ben Swift: “I knew when I met Nicholas for the first time last year how enormously talented he was. It was a fantastic humbling experience to be part of a mentoring programme and I am looking forward to riding the Coronation Double Century again with him and the other boys next weekend.”
Stephen Roche: “Nicholas is an incredible rider – and one to watch in the future – I look forward to riding with him again soon.”
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About Nicholas Dlamini
Nicholas Dlamini started running with the JAG Foundation in 2007. He was an enormously talented runner and through opportunities provided by the charity started cycling. He started competing in Biathlons and gained his South African colours. Cycling however began to dominate and he rode with the Velokhaya “Life Cycling Academy” from 2009-2011 before returning to JAG.
In March 2013, Vanessa Haywood, actress and ex Miss SA selected and entered Nicholas for the Cape Rouleur as part of HotChillee’s Development Rider Programme. He excelled winning the 36ONE Sprinter’s Jersey (amateur) at age 17. He was then selected to ride the LONDON-PARIS 2013 and for his first overseas event won the ICAP Leaders Jersey (amateur). In November 2013, he rode the Coronation Double Century (Team Time Trial) with HotChillee Racing and British Pro Ben Swift, coming third overall.
He finished 2013 by representing SA in the African Continental Championships in Cairo where he competed in the Team Time Trial, winning a gold medal.
He impressed so much in 2013 that he has started working with Rocket Sports Management who manage athletes like Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift and double Olympic Gold medalist Laura Trott.
In 2014 he is racing locally with Team Europcar and placed 9that the Road Race at the SA Championships. He continues to study whilst racing with Europcar representing JAG and HotChillee Development Riders a well as the added achievement of representing the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Nicholas starts racing for MTN-Qhubeka in January 2015.
About HotChillee and the Development Rider Programme
HotChillee is an events company specialising in pro style cycling events around the world, with the Global event series being the flagship, which consists of the Cape Rouleur, The London-Paris and Alpine Challenge.
The development rider programme was set up in 2013 by founder Sven Thiele in partnership with local cycling organisations in Cape Town. HotChillee currently work with JAG, Velokhaya, Cape Town Giants. The programme is designed to offer a platform for young South African development riders to progress to international athletes.