Episode 16: Doug Ryder - Africa’s Cycling Team VS. The World

Doug Ryder only wanted to be a pro cyclist. He eked out a living trying to fulfil that dream on the cold European winter and autumn circuit in the 1990s and had moderate success. Through those experiences a dream of building an African cycling team that would compete at the elite level started to form. The dream slowly became reality as Ryder banged on the door of the sport with only his vision and passion to sell. He met resistance, mirth and suspicion from cycling’s establishment, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. But he never gave up and today the NTT Pro Cycling Team (formerly Dimension Data) is in the first division of the World Tour. Since its entry to the upper echelons of the sport its riders have won many races, including seven Tour de France stages. It has also given over 80,000 bikes to underprivileged African communities through its Qhubeka Foundation and it continues to grow. Today, Ryder joins the Maverick Sports Podcast to talk about the rise of the little team from Africa, which had no money, to an organisation that employs more than 100 people and has a R255m annual budget.