Team Qhubeka NextHash: Africa's top cycling team has WorldTour licence bid refused

Nic Dlamini of South Africa and Team Qhubeka NextHash
Team Qhubeka NextHash finished 21st at this year's Tour de France

Team Qhubeka NextHash, Africa's top cycling team, has had its application for a WorldTour spot in 2022 rejected by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).

The world governing body's licence commission refused to register the team, but did not give reasons for its decision.

The South Africa-based team missed a deadline to apply for a licence in October having struggled to find sponsors, and had not been able to be registered directly by the UCI.

Seven weeks ago team principal Doug Ryder told BBC Sport Africa it was "absolutely possible" the team would fold if it could not secure funding.

Established in 2007, the team rides to raise awareness and funds for Qhubeka, a charity which raises money to provide bicycles for young people across southern Africa.

"We have noted the UCI's press release today in which we have been refused the registration of a WorldTour licence for 2022," said a statement from Team Qhubeka NextHash on Twitter.external-link

"We remain committed to our purpose of changing lives through bicycles. We will be making no further comment at this stage."

Team Qhubeka NextHash finished 21st in the team rankings at the Tour de France this year, but Belgian rider Victor Campenaerts and Italian Giacomo Nizzolo departed after the initial UCI deadline was not met.