Dlamini ready to ‘fly’ as road cyclists return to action

Dlamini was included in a seven-man line-up unveiled by NTT Pro Cycling at the weekend for the five-day Vuelta a Burgos stage race starting in Spain on Tuesday.

“I haven’t pinned on a number in about 10 months, if not more, so I’m very excited and nervous,” Dlamini said.

“But I’ve done all the preparation and I’m feeling really good, so I’m really looking forward to the race.”

The 24-year-old rider had recovered from surgery on a broken arm, his team confirmed, following a controversial incident with Table Mountain park rangers in Cape Town late last year.

After returning to outdoor training in March, Dlamini had since linked up with the rest of the NTT squad for a training camp in Lucca, as they geared up for the resumption of the top-flight European season which had been suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.

While the SA-registered team had dominated the recent Virtual Tour de
France from start to finish, proving the riders were in form, it remained unclear what to expect after a lengthy disruption in the 2020 campaign.

Dlamini, however, was confident the squad – also featuring former national champion Louis Meintjes – was ready to put up a fight.

Dlamini with the climbers’ jersey at the 2018 Tour Down Under. Picture: Getty Images

“The camp was amazing,” said Dlamini, who won the King of the Mountains classification at the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Britain in 2018.

“The whole team is flying at the moment and everyone is in terrific form, which is really nice to see, so we’re super motivated.

“We worked really hard at the camp… and we’re ready to race now and step up to another level.”

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