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Doug Ryder is trying to build a second-tier team for 2023 with VeloNews learning that the former Dimension Data and NextHash general manager has been linked with the support of a South African billionaire backer.
Ryder lost his WorldTour license at the end of 2021 after the NextHash team fell apart due to a lack of financial support from its main sponsor. Ryder was unable to find a last minute deal to save the team’s spot at the top of the sport, and the squad dropped down to the Continental ranks with all the major stars moving on to rival teams.
In 2022 the squad raced as Team Qhubeka with a team that included former WorldTour rider Nic Dlamini.
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It’s unclear where the talks are between Ryder and his potential new backer but one reliable source told VeloNews that the roster is currently being addressed for next season. VeloNews has also learned from a separate source that backer could be South African billionaire Ivan Glasenberg. It’s also understood that Ryder is currently shopping around for a potential bike sponsor.
Glasenberg retired as CEO of Glencore, one of the world’s biggest mining and commodities trading companies in 2021 but has since moved to Switzerland and become a keen cyclist. The Financial Review estimated that his net worth was in the region of $7.39 billion AUS.
Glasenberg also invested in Q36.5 in 2021, an Italian cycling apparel company. The Q in the brand’s name stands for quaerere, which means ‘research’ in Latin. The numbers refer to the temperature, in Celsius, of the human body at its optimum temperature. This year Q36.5 provided the leader’s jersey at the Tour de Suisse. In June of this year the Swiss press speculated that Q36.5, with the company having a branch in Bahnhofstrasse, could partner with a team for 2024.
VeloNews reached out to Ryder and asked about a potential backer of the new team. He replied via text saying: “I am traveling today but at this stage I have no comment.We need more time.”
VeloNews asked Ryder if he had a potential backer for a team. He responded with a short and sweet, ‘no’.
However, when asked if there had been any contact between himself and the South African Ivan Glasenberg, Ryder replied: “Boarding a plane, gotta go. Traveling with my family at the moment. I said I have no comment.”