The HotChillee Development Rider Programme started in 2011 and focused on providing a platform and ecosystem for young talented riders in the Western Cape to make the difficult transition to the pro peloton in Europe. Working in partnership with local cycling organisations including Cycling South Africa, the Pedal Power Association, Velokhaya and the Cape Town Giants we enjoyed enormous success with two riders signing professional contracts, including Nicholas Dlamini who now rides for the Dimension Data World Tour Team.
Many other young riders have also been exposed to what it takes to make the transition with support from of Magnus Bäckstedt, Ben Swift, and guidance from Team Dimension Data and SA star Ashleigh Moolman.
In 2016 we held our first Development Rider Summit in Cape Town hosted by Magnus Bäckstedt, attended by Doug Ryder, the General Manager of Dimension Data, their Performance Director Carol Austin and Minister Alan Winde alongside World Tour Pros including Berne Eisel, Ben Swift and Ashleigh Moolman. Young riders were able to hear about the differences between racing in SA and Europe, ask questions about training and racing tips as well as meet some of their cycling heroes.
Each year the programme invites young riders from across the Western Cape to ride the HotChillee Young Rider Prologue in March as part of the HotChillee Cape Rouleur. Participants compete for the chance to join the HotChillee Development programme for the following season. You can see the full 2019 Young Rider Prologue results here.
Ten riders are selected each year and monitored during the SA road racing calendar. At the end of the year four riders from the programme are selected to compete in the 5-day HotChillee Cape Rouleur, and from these two go on to race in Europe at the HotChillee LONDON-PARIS, with flights sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for the Western Cape.
The programme will continue be supported by the Rainmaker, PPA, CSA, the Western Cape Government and Velokhaya in 2019/2020.
“Having been involved in this programme since the beginning and realising how much effort goes in to developing a young rider it’s great to see the programme scale and I’m really excited to continue to be part of this amazing development.” Team GB rider, Ben Swift
“We’re in a sweet spot for African cycling and I have big expectations for our African riders. I’m looking forward to seeing what new talent Team HotChillee bring to the table.” Dimension Data Team Principal, Doug Ryder