Each of our race bikes for the 209.5km stage from Toulouse to Bagnères-de-Bigorre will feature a special set of orange bar tape, chain and bottles as part of the celebrations. While our Giro helmets will also be orange, bearing the inspirational words of Mandela as well as the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation logo.
Laureus, of which our team are ambassadors, joined us in Toulouse and presented the riders with their individual helmets at dinner on Wednesday evening. On the eve of this very special occasion the Chairman of the Laureus Academy and former All Blacks captain, Sean Fitzpatrick, and the Chairman of Laureus South Africa and Academy member, Morne du Plessis, shared with our riders and staff the role that Mandela played as a founding patron of the organisation, and the profound impact he made in sport.
In attendance were also Laureus Ambassador Ryk Neethling and Executive Director of Laureus South Africa Brett Graham, while CEO Jonathan Hill will join the team at the stage finish in Bagnères-de-Bigorre on Thursday.
Douglas Ryder, team principal, commented: “To have the likes of Sean, Morne, Jonathan and Ryk with us is such an honour. Every year we look in our own way to pay tribute to the incredible legacy of President Mandela and the values and ideals that he lived his life by. The example that he set for the rest of the world and is inherent belief that the power of sport has in changing the world is of huge inspiration to us.
“It’s also a day that will forever remain incredibly special to us personally as a team with our first ever stage victory at the Tour de France on this day in 2015 by Steve Cummings. That alone is a moment which continues to inspire and drive us.”